Jul 4, 2008 (DVB)–A National League for Democracy member in North Okkalapa township who monitored the vote counting at a local ballot station on 24 May was beaten up by ward administration officials and now faces criminal charges.
Ko Aye Thaung, a member of North Okkalapa township NLD, was monitoring the local officials' vote count at the township's ballot station (2) on Phaung Taw Oo pagoda street when the delayed referendum was held on 24 May.
After the count, Aye Thaung said he was beaten up by Ko San Htway, a member of Tadagyi ward Union Solidarity and Development Association.
San Htway was accompanied by Kyauk Yay Dwin ward Peace and Development Council chairman U Myint Soe, who threatened the NLD member.
"On 24 May, I went to the ballot station to cast my vote. When I had finished, I asked the station officials to give me permission to watch the vote count but I was denied by the station chief. So I left the station but watched them from outside," Aye Thaung explained.
"Not so long after that, U Myint Soe arrived on the scene and told the people there to beat to death anyone who is causing a disturbance and that he would take care of the consequences," he said.
"Then I was beaten up by San Htway."
After the incident, Aye Thaung tried to press charges against San Htway and Myint Soe under section 323 of the penal code for assault, but on 2 July, San Htway countersued him under section 323 and also under section 294 for obscene language.
"Now they are accusing me of violations of sections 323 and 294,” Aye Thaung said.
“But I didn't do any of the things they are accusing me of – if I had, I would have been in jail by now."
Reporting by Naw Say Phaw