209Five Burmese legislators seek asylum at Karen camp
- Apr 25, 2006The Nation: Five Burmese legislators seek asylum at
Mon 24 Apr 2006
Filed under: News, On The Border
April 22, Five Burmese lawmakers arrived at a rebel
Karen National Union camp near the Thai border
yesterday, saying they had fled Burma because they
feared persecution by its military government.
Saw Tar Ru Too, 65, an MP from the National Union
Party, and U Chit Tun, 60, a member of the National
League for Democracy (NLD), talked to reporters at the
Valee Key camp on the Burmese side of the border
adjacent to Taks Phob Phra district.
Saw Tar, a native of the Karenni State, said he
formerly worked for the government as a community
coordinator, but that the junta had increasingly been
suppressing the people, offering apologies but not
taking action in response to complaints.
He said that the Burmas political situation is mired
Before he fled for the Thai border, he was working
with a non-governmental organization assisting eight
rural medical clinics. He said the government was
sceptical about his work and had interrogated him
while preparing to arrest him on charges of treason,
which prompted him to flee.
Chit Tun said that he left Rangoon because Burmese
soldiers had arrested the NLDs Rangoon Province
committee chairman, Aung Teng. He said he had learned
that the government was also planning to arrest him,
so he had fled on 1 April. I was arrested before on
charges of participating in a political movement and
given a sentence of 23 years, but then it was reduced
to two years. If I am arrested again, the sentence
would be doubled (46 years). So I thought I had to
find a way out. I would rather escape from the country
and fight rather than let them arrest me, said Chit
He said he believed that the government had staged
five explosions that rattled the downtown area of
Rangoon on Thursday [20 April]. No-one was injured.
He said that he would continue to work with former
Burmese politicians along the border to peacefully
oppose the current leadership.
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