Government Collective Security Team Arrests NMSP Member

October 10, 2014

A member of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) was arrested this Monday, October 6th, by a government collective security team at the junction of Ye, Pa-Nga, and Thanbyuzayat. The collective security group, which includes members of the police, military and township administration, were conducting their duties at the checkpoint when they arrested Nai Htaw Pop, a township-level member of the NMSP, in Thanbyuzayat Township at 10 am. The team seized a 45 caliber pistol, 12 bullets, a bomb, and handcuffs off Nai Htaw Pop’s person; Nai Htaw Pop was later released.

“I was on my bike while they [the government collective security team] were performing their duty. I regularly do my daily work in this [direction]. On that day, I had an appointment with the Township Chairman [of the NMSP], to discuss work plans in Wae Kha Ruu. When I reached [the junction], they stopped me and searched my body. After that, they took my pistol, bomb and handcuffs; they also seized my mobile phone to cut of my communication. I even explained to them that I am a staff member from the NMSP liaison office and I was on my way to perform my duty, but they refused to release me,” said Nai Htaw Pop.

When the Thanbyuzayat Township NMSP liaison office learned of Nai Htaw Pop’s arrest, Township Chairman Nai Raja went to the junction in efforts to explain that Nai Htaw Pop was, in fact, a member of the NMSP, and had an appointment with his chairman. After hearing this explanation, the security group released Nai Htaw Pop, but sent his weapons and equipment to the No. 4 Military Advanced Training School in Wae Kali.

Commenting on the incident, Nai Raja said, “After hearing [about] the incident, I went to the junction where they arrested our member. Upon reaching [the junction], I saw our member in handcuffs. I told them [the security group] that they could not treat our member in that way, and to release him [immediately]. The police and administration staff were flexible, but the military was stubborn. The military officer is Captain Soe Naing, from Artillery Regiment No. 315, is a former friend, but he refused my request. They said [that] after reporting to their base, the weapons and equipment were sent there, and I complained that they could not manage the case in that way, I advised them to solve the problem [at] the ground-level, but they did not withdraw the weapons and equipment [from their base]. We returned to our liaison office after our member was released. We reported the case to the district-level Moulmein liaison office and the upper-level members have been trying to solve the problem. We have not heard anything new.”

Since fighting erupted between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Burmese Military in Kyaikmayaw Township on September 26, 2014, the Burmese Military and government have tightened security, and have begun collecting detailed information and searching houses of members of the non-state armed groups active in Moulmein City.

Political monitors in Mon State have commented that the actions of the government collective security team are an early symptom of future restrictions that the Burmese government and military will enforce upon non-state armed groups.

Comments

Got something to say?