Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Burma's opposition politician attacked by unknown perpetrator


(Mizzima) - A political leader of the Opposition in Burma on Saturday was injured after he was deliberately tripped by an unknown man from behind.

Aye Thar Aung, a member of the 'Committee Representing People's Parliament', an opposition group comprising Members of Parliament elected in the 1990 elections, said he was purposely tripped by the man, who he suspects belongs to the military intelligence, while getting down from a bus in downtown Rangoon.

Aye Thar Aung said he was on his way to a barbershop on Saturday at about 1 p.m. (local time) and was getting off the No. 38 route bus, when he was suddenly tripped on the stairs of the bus. He fell on the ground and sustained injuries on his knees and palms.

"I lost control and fell down. I sustained bruises and injuries on my palms and on my right knee. I can't stand properly now but have no fractures. I am lucky not to have got a head injury," Aye Thar Aung told Mizzima over telephone.

While it was not clear who tripped him, Aye Thar Aung, secretary of the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) party said the person has been constantly following him wherever he went. Aung believes he belongs to Burma's notorious 'Military Affairs Security'.

"He is just about 20 years old and he has been following me all through," said Aye Thar Aung, adding that the person had purposely put forward one foot on the bus to trip him.

The 63 year-old Arakan leader said, he lodged a complaint at the Pazundaung Township Police Station, adding the man continued to follow him to the gates of the police station.

Aye Thar Aung said, the man reportedly told people in the neighborhood that he had been assigned to follow the politician.

"I heard that he told people in my neighborhood that he was unhappy with me for roaming around the city without any work, as he has to continuously follow me. I think he tripped me because of that," Aye Thar Aung said.

Burma's Opposition party members in recent times have been subjected to frequent attacks by unknown perpetrators. But the law enforcement agencies of the military government have failed to bring the culprits to book every time an opposition member has been attacked.

In June, an elected Member of Parliament, Than Lwin, from Madaya township of Mandalay division was hit on the face with a knuckle-duster by an unknown person.

Similarly, Tin Yu, a member of Burma's main opposition party – the National League for Democracy – in Rangoon Division's Hliang Thar Yar Township, had to undergo a minor operation where he received 21 stitches for an injury he sustained from a beating by unknown group of people in April.

In March, a Human Rights activist, Myint Aye (57) sustained head injuries from a similar beating by unknown people. Myint Hlaing, chairman of the Hlaing Thar Yar NLD was also attacked by unknown people the same month.

In February, political activists Moe Nay Soe and Phone Gyi from Taungup town of Arakan State in western Burma were also beaten up by an unknown group.

In all the cases, though the victims said they had lodged complaints with the police, so far there have been no reports of arrests or effort at finding the culprits.

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