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209Five Burmese legislators seek asylum at Karen camp

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  • Ehna
    Apr 25, 2006
      The Nation: Five Burmese legislators seek asylum at
      Karen camp
      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 Tak’s 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 Burma’s political situation is mired
      in crisis.

      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 NLD’s 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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