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Elected White Tiger party member goes on trial

December 22, 2010

An elected Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP)’s representative in Shan State South’s Kunhing township was summoned to Naypyitaw in order to appear in court brought by its defeated rival Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) representative, according to party members.

“The defendant with 3 other party members including the party’s lawyer Sao Nang Myawaddy were in Naypyitaw since 19 December a few days after the party conference held in Taunggyi,” said Sai Hsawng Hsi, vice chairman of the SNDP.

Sai Mon aka Sai Kyaw Htun

The defendant, Sai Mon aka Sai Kyaw Htun, elected for state legislature at Kunhing’s constituency No.1, was accused by its rival USDP representative Dr. Sai Kham Leng, a former member of Union Election Commission (UEC) that Sai Mon won the seat on 7 November, the day of elections, with the help of the ceasefire armed group Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’s 7th Brigade.

Dr. Sai Kham Leng was one of the 17 appointed members of Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC). But in the middle of August, he was reportedly directed by the USDP to resign from his position and contest for a seat in the state legislature in Kunhing township Constituency No. 1 for the party. He was reportedly slated to become Shan State’s first Chief Minister in 48 years.

“People who intend to sue say whatever they want. However, he must show what evidence he has for his complaint,” said Sai Hsawng Hsi.
According to Sai Kham Leng’s complaint submitted to the UEC on 6 December and relayed to the SNDP on 14 December: 

  • The SNDP election campaign centered around (the ceasefire group-turned-militia) Shan State Army’s 7th Brigade based in Kali, Kunhing township
  • Villagers were forced by the 7th Brigade to vote for the SNDP candidates
  • The SNDP’s campaign slogans were:
    • Everyone who is a Shan is a tiger
    • A tiger must vote for the tiger
    • Shan State will become independent if the tiger wins
    • Shan State will be restored to its real owners if the tiger wins
    • Shan State will be restored to its real owners if the tiger wins majority seats
    • If the tiger wins, the people will be able to achieve the Right of Determination
    • Shan State will be able to coin and use its own money
    • Apart from education and health, only citizens of Shan State will be employed

The SNDP denied having such campaign slogans.

Sai Tun Kyi

An SNDP member commented, “Actually, our party won the seats with the votes from the townspeople, not from the rural areas. In fact, it was the USDP that received the votes of rural areas. The charge would make sense only if we won in the rural areas.”

Most cities and towns are under the control of the Burma Army. Only the rural areas are under the partial control of ceasefire and rebel movements. “This is the most ridiculous accusation we have ever heard,” said a former 7th Brigade officer.

SHAN was unable to contact Dr. Sai Kham Leng regarding the allegation. He is reportedly attending the USDP’s conference being held in Naypyitaw, 22-24 December.

Meanwhile, Sai Tun Kyi, another SNDP candidate who contested at state legislature of Kunhing Constituency No.2 is also reportedly preparing to file a law suit against its rival USDP member Sai Nu alleging he won the seat with advance votes.

The SNDP contested in Shan, Kachin, Sagaing and Mandalay and won 57 out of the 156 seats and is the second winning party in Shan State.Shan News


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