Yaung Daung Youth Escaped from a Dramatic Arrest, Later Detained by Police

October 10, 2014

On October 3, 2014, Kamarwat Town police chased Mehm Chan Chan through Yaung Daung Village, Mudon Township in attempts to arrest him. The police instilled great fear in Mehm Chan Chan, a member of the Yaung Daung Youth Organization, as they chased him while fully equipped with weapons, but Mehm Chan Chan was able to avoid arrest.

According to a local source, the Kamarwat Town police, who are currently active in Mudon Township, attempted to arrest the youth because he spoke out against the Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee during an August 2014 meeting.

The former chairman of the Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee and his members, Aung Soe, Aung Thi Bar, and Kyaw Nyunt, were also involved in the arrest; providing information to the police as how to reach the youth.

“At that time, I was in my plantation and the police surrounded the plantation to arrest me,” said Mehm Chan Chan, 28 year-old Yaung Daung resident and Yaung Daung Youth Organization member, on October 4, 2014, “They frighteningly chased me like they were chasing ducks and chickens. They also obviously pointed their weapons when chasing me. I was afraid of being killed by the police, so I ran away.

After Mehm Chan Chan escaped arrest, the Yaung Daung Village headman told him to report to the local police station, promising the police would not harm him. Mehm Chan Chan turned himself in to the local police station in the evening of October 3rd.

“We went [to the police station] at 10 o’clock at night. We had a conversation with the police until 10:30 pm, and after that they [the police] detained me and put me in the cell. I told my lawyer [Nai Htaw Pine, of Kane Nari Gold Smith, Thanbyuzayat City] that the village headman told me just to show my face to the police, but they arrested and detained me after my report. My lawyer [told] me we could sue the police for their unreasonable arrest. My lawyer requested [that] the police release me at 6 pm, and if they failed to do so, they would be on trial for their actions. And then I was released after four houses of detainment,” said Mehm Chan Chan.

According to a local source, Mehm Chan Chan’s arrest was connected to an incident with the former Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee.

The former Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee was dissolved on October 1, 2014, due to a lack of public support, and Mudon Township’s Chief Engineer, Nai Myint Aung, visited Yaung Daung Village to organize a meeting to form a new Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee.

At this meeting, Nai Myint Aung announced that only those individuals who purchase electricity from the Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee would have the right to be involved in the committee, further stating that he maintained support for the former members of the electricity committee.

Mehm Chan Chan questioned the Chief Engineer as to why he ignored the rights of the residents, calling upon the 2008 Constitution which states that every citizen has the right to be involved in local development.

Meeting attendees supported Mehm Chan Chan, and unrest grew. The Chief Engineer attempted to slap Mehm Chan Chan’s face, and violent clashes erupted between the villagers and officials.

According to a local source, the Yaung Daung residents reported directly to the Chief Minister of Mon State, stating that they did not support the Yaung Daung Electricity Providing Committee. Currently, the committee retains the right to manage the village’s electricity.

 

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