YANGON - Tin Maung Toe, the chairperson of the National League for Democracy branch in Taunggyi District, Shan State, was dismissed from his position for posting his criticism against the party on Facebook.
The September 4 dismissal was the order of NLD leader Win Htein, who arrived in the district a day earlier to oversee the reformation of the executive committee of the NLD office in Shan State.
During Win Htein’s visit, Tin Maung Toe posted a photo of Win Htein posing with a minister of the Shan State government at the minister’s house on September 3, along with this tag: “Money can buy a party position”.
Sources said he violated the party’s rules for doing so. However, the dismissal was carried out without an investigation by the party’s discipline team.
Along with Tin Maung Toe, top officials were also dismissed: chairperson of the NLD’s Shan State branch Khin Moe Moe, secretary of the executive committee Yu Me Me Zaw and leader of the discipline team Mee Mee. A new executive committee for the NLD in Shan State was formed with five members.
Tin Maung Toe said: “We did not receive any instruction to reform the executive committee. All we know is that the duty of central executive committee is to fill vacancies. Khin Moe Moe – the chairperson of the Shan State NLD – has reported about it. [Win Htein] came to reform the new executive committee of Shan State without having any instruction or letter. We cannot accept this. Now the NLD is the ruling party, so it should avoid childish behaviour. I was removed from the party membership. I accept this. However, this should only happen after an evaluation by the discipline team. I would like to ask this move works in the public interest or was just to create positions. I have been working for 26 years because I believe in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. But I cannot stand for a reformation of the executive committee that violates the rules. I was dismissed for writing a status saying money can buy a CEC position, not a history of political activities.”
Win Htein said: “The dismissal was not through my verbal order. I received the order from Aung San Suu Kyi.”
Chairperson of the NLD’s Namhsan office Nay Zaw Naing said the dismissal is unacceptable considering the history of Tin Maung Toe’s political activities.
Tin Maung Toe wrote: “The politics has no CEC, but it has history. That’s all. If I wanted the opportunity, I would have more than a billion kyats. All I want is human rights and equality for ethnic minorities, the preservation of traditional and cultural heritage and autonomy. But I would say asking a state official is just inordinate greed. What is more, why did the old man come to the state? You will see tomorrow that the Shan NLD members are brave.”
Shan State NLD chairperson Khin Moe Moe said: “Tin Maung Toe was dismissed by verbal order. Actually, they intended to dismiss me and Yu Me Me Zaw (secretary of the Shan State NLD), and they wanted to appoint people they preferred. Meanwhile Tin Maung Toe posted the Facebook statement and was dismissed. Then, they said reason for why they removed me and Yu Me Me Zaw from our positions is that we are helping social affairs. How can they dismiss those who are working for society? However, Win Htein said the issue will be reconsidered in Yangon again.”
Taunggyi Township NLD chairperson Than Lwin said: “We have many things that we have been tolerating. We just want to work in line with the principles. All we want is to fill vacancies. Otherwise, it will lead to disintegration.”
Tin Maung Toe was imprisoned at Mandalay;s Obo Prison for seven years for his involvement in the 1988 uprising. He ran in the previous election for the position of Bama ethnic affairs minister in Shan State, but he was not elected.
Southern Shan State NLD has expressed disapproval of the dismissal and plans to send an objection letter to Suu Kyi.