Election Commission threatens to dissolve Bauk Ja’s political party of her advocacy for 19 Kachin students

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese Election Commission has threatened the politician-activist Bauk Ja that her political party could be dissolved because of her advocacy for 19 Kachin students living in Rangoon who were ordered by the authorities to return home, according to the National Democratic Force (NDF).

National Democratic Force member Bauk Ja. Photo: MizzimaNational Democratic Force member Bauk Ja. Photo: Mizzima

Rangoon Region Election Commission Secretary Myint Swe said on Saturday that the activities of the NDF party member threatened national unity. Myint Swe invited NDF central committee members Myo Zaw Aung, Toe Toe and Bauk Ja to his office in Rangoon to discuss the issue.

‘The election commission warned me and other party leaders that activities which could affect national unity might lead to dissolving our party. He also said that we should put a priority on party interest above personal affairs and the interest of the state should be above the party interest’, Bauk Ja told Mizzima.

The conflict has arisen following the authorities threatening the Kachin students that it would not renew their guest registrations, and they were ordered to return to their homes. No reason was cited, but the order came about the time of the outbreak of renewed fighting between the government and Kachin forces.

The students are living in a rented house in Bogyoke village in Thanlyin Township. Bauk Ja took up their case and advocated for them through the exile media. In an interview with Mizzima, Bauk Ja said:

‘I have lived among wars since my childhood and suffered a lot of pain. I could not care about my own life when I realized how important it was to work for the people. I see these students as my own children who are in deep trouble. My wish to work for them outweighs my fear’.

NDF committee member Khin Maung Swe said that Bauk Ja, who is from Phakant Township, had actively worked for the people even before joining the party.

‘I believe she represented the students in good faith and has no ill will toward the state. She told the students’ story and your media covered this news. We know that she stands for national reconciliation’, he said. ‘The commission might misunderstand her, or they might have fears because of her interviews’, Khin Maung Swe said.

The local authority is still investigating the students’ case. The students say they want to remain in their rented house and attend school, but if they cannot get their guest registration renewed by the local authorities they could be arrested.

Bauk Ja said that the village authority has asked for the students’ permanent address, a transfer certificate from their school and the address of the current school they attend.

Bauk Ja contested in the Phakant constituency as a NDF candidate in the 2010 general election. She lost to Ohn Myint, a former Northern Command commander who is now serving as minister of Cooperative Societies.

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