Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Warning to members is a threat to party: Win Tin

by Salai Pi Pi
Monday, 08 June 2009 22:52

New Delhi (Mizzima) - The National League for Democracy (NLD) is faced with a new threat with the ruling junta having warned and restricted it from issuing statements, an executive member of the party said on Monday.

Win Tin, a veteran journalist and Central Executive Committee (CEC) member of the NLD, said the junta’s warning to party leaders and youths came in the wake of a statement issued last week by the Youth Working Group. It is a new threat to the party and also signals an increasing crackdown on party activities.

The NLD Youth Working Group on June 2 issued a statement condemning the ongoing trial of party leader Aung San Suu Kyi saying that the junta is applying an ineffective law of the 1974 constitution to sue her and to continue to detain her.

The youth group also said that the trial was not free and fair as the defendant was only allowed one witness while the prosecution presented 14.

In a vindictive response to the statement, the junta authorities on Friday summoned the NLD CEC members along with leaders of the Youth Working Group and warned them. They made them sign a pledge not to repeat such accusations.

The junta, in its mouthpiece newspaper, the New Light of Myanmar, on Saturday said the statement by the NLD youth was “misleading and was disturbing the court’s proceedings,” in Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial.

“It is a threat to us as our members, including youths, have been warned about issuing statements, which we as a legal political party used to issue and have the right to,” Win Tin said.

“It is also a restriction of freedom of expression,” Win Tin added.

On June 4, the authorities called members of the NLD youth wing Hla Thein, Myo Nyunt, Hla Oo and Aye Tun and on June 5 called CEC members Than Htun, Nyunt Wei, Hla Phe and Soe Myint and warned them against issuing statements.

“When we were summoned, they read out a paper the content of which was similar to the context in the newspaper. They said, we had broken the law,” a youth member told Mizzima.

“After they finished reading, they told us to sign the paper as a confession that we had committed a crime,” he added.