News, Personal Accounts, Report & Analysis on Human Rights Situation
in Mon Territory and Other Areas Southern Part of Burma
The Mon Forum
Issue No. 7/98 October 31, 1998
Human Rights Foundation of Monland (BURMA)
(1) Arrest, Torturing, Cash Extortion from Village Headmen,
(2) Mon State PDC Collected Funds for Miserable Soldiers,
(3) SPDC Officials' Profit from Land Confiscation near Ye Town
The Political Oppression in Mon State
Some Acronyms in this Issue
BSPP- Burmese Socialist Programme Party,
SLORC- State Law and Order Restoration Council,
SPDC- State Peace and Development Council (new name of SLORC),
IB- Infantry battalion (of Burmese Army),
LIB- Light Infantry battalion (of Burmese Army),
Ml- Military Intelligence,
MNDF- Mon National Democratic Front,
NLD- National League for Democracy,
CRPP- Committee Representing People's Parliament,
UNLD- Union Nationalities League for Democracy,
Arrest, Torturing and Cash Extortion from Village Headmen
On July 7, 1998, about 40 troops of SPDC's IB No. 61 led by Sergeant Aung Khin Myint went into Kaw-hlaing village, and arrested about 4 village headmen and one ordinary villager with accusation of rebel-supporters. The village is situating about 15 kilometer from Ye town in the south-west side and new Mon armed group, which is formed with retired Mon soldiers and has fought with local SPDC troops, has been active in this area and the villagers or village headmen are always accused as rebel-supporters whenever the fighting happens in the surrounding area. The new armed group is formed with aim to protect their own area and the local SPDC battalions have put more and more pressure to the armed group and local villagers and the recent military use of "four cuts campaign" have been launched by the local SPDC military command again.
The four arrested village headmen are: (1) Nai Tin Hlaing, the chairman; (2) Nai Kyi, the Secretary; (3) Nai Tin Shwe, village committee member; (4) Nai Pu, village committee member; and one ordinary village was (5) Nai Kit. After the arrest, these village headmen were tied up with ropes and were brought to a nearest military outpost in Hangan village, about (10) kilometers far from Ye town, where the SPDC troops have firm control. These
Population displacement in Ye Township area because of killing, torturing related to accusation of rebel-supporters village headmen were also detained in this military outpost for three days and inumanely and severely tortured by the SPDC soldiers when they interrogated the village headmen about the activities of Mon armed group and how they supported the armed group. Most villagers were tied up and beaten. Their faces were closed with plastic bags and poured water on their heads. Sometimes, the soldiers immersed their faces in water and beat them. At the end, after the received some information from those village headmen, and when they had release them, they however demanded some amount of cash as a ransom of 30,000 Kyat per head from the village headmen.
After three days detention in the military outpost, the village chairman family also brought 30,000 Kyat and paid to the IB No. 61's second commander and so he was released first. The rest families of other village headmen and one villagers were unable to pay within three days and they were brought to IB No. 61 HQs, which situates in Ye town. They were totally detained in battalion's detention center and were tortured again until a ransom was paid by their families. They were detained in HQs for 15 days and at the end, when the cash for the rest three village headmen with a total amount of 90,000 Kyat was paid by the families, three village headmen were released. The family of the rest one villager was unable to pay the full amount of ransom and he was continuously detained in battalion detention center.
Later, this villager was also sent to the troops who have launched military operation in the area and was used as permanent porters for IB No. 61's troops. Whenever the troops launched offensives against the Mon armed group in July and August, the soldiers brought him along with them and forced him to show the bases of Mon armed group and the ways that the armed group had used. Whenever the soldiers dissatisfied on him for his inability to show the bases and the ways, he was severely beaten by the soldiers. Pie was detained or brought by the soldiers for over two months and later he was released after the villagers collected and gave a ransom of 30,000 Kyat to the battalion.
Mon State PDC Collected Fund for Miserable Soldiers
In October, 1998, the Mon State PDC and Commanders of Southeast Military Command bases in Moulmein, capital of Mon State, gave an instruction order to town quarter and village leaders to collect fund from the civilians to support for Burmese Army's miserable soldiers who are residing in various military battalions in Mon State. In the order issued by the Mon State PDC, it also mentioned that these miserable soldiers lost their hands, legs, eyes and other parts of the body to save the country and protect the people and so the people in the country have responsibility to support these soldiers in turn.
According to the reliable source, there are over 500 miserable soldiers in Mon State and the government has
supported these soldiers for several years by providing foods and other needs through Southeast Military Command. In June, 1998, the government has shortage of fund to support these miserable soldiers and therefore, has instructed to the concerned military command and division to support the miserable soldiers by their own way. Following this instruction, the Mon State PDC and Southeast Military Command chose the way to collect fund from civilians.
The Southeast Military Command by instructing to the local military battalions that they needed about 70 million Kyat to invest in a business deal or concession and then supported to these soldiers and their families outcoming profit. The local military battalions had collected funds as tax collections from the civilians who have rubber and fruit plantations and business works. They also defined the amount of tax collection as below:
Rubber plantation with 400 trees 4,000 Kyat
Fruit plantations, such as betel nut, cashew nut, etc. 10,000 Kyat
Commodity shops 5,000 Kyat
Teashop 5,000 Kyat
Gold ware selling shop 30,000 Kyat
One fishing boat 10,000 Kyat
Bi-cycles repairing workshop 5,000 Kyat
Motorcycles repairing workshop 10,000 Kyat
Truck and Car repairing workshop 20,000
Kyat Rice mill, which can husk 2,000 baskets of paddy per day 50,000 Kyat
Before the tax was collected, the town quarter and village leaders were instructed by the nearest military battalions to send the lists of households and names of family heads who have plantations and business jobs. Then the military battalions estimated the amount of cash and instructed the respective community leaders to collect the defined amount of cash according to instruction. For example, there are many betel-nut plantations in the rural Ye township area and all farmers of these plantations in the area were instructed to send the set amount of cash before October 15. If not, these plantations must be confiscated by soldiers. On October 17, all town quarters and village leaders brought 7 million cash amount to Ye Township Government Tax office and it was signed by the tax officials that the quarters and villages were already paid instructed tax payment. Actually, Southeast Command Military Command and Mon State
PDC give authority to their local battalions to take these funds and invest in some business works.
Most local battalions are allowed to do business in the whole Mon State and more opportunities are offered by the State than individuals and civilian companies. Or, the local battalions also participate in business with civilian companies as shareholders. In Mon State, the battalions have shares in many business works such as fishing, logging, construction, travelling and many other concessions. Sometimes, the Mon State PDC also gives contract to the local battalions to do business mostly in transportation and construction sectors. However, the SPDC did not give any investment money to those battalions and instructed they can find by themselves. At the same time, when the government could not feed or provide possible needs for the miserable soldiers in the whole Mon State, the local battalions have to take responsibility to find fund for these soldiers. Because of this instruction, the unusual and big amount of tax payment was collected by respective battalion.
SPDC officials' Profit from Land Confiscation near Ye town
In southeastern part of Ye township, near Myathida public market of Ye town, nearly 100 acres of palm plantation land owned by local farmers was confiscated in August by Ye Township PDC and a new satellite town is being created. In confiscating these lands, the soldiers from IB No. 61, LIB No. 343 and No. 5 MI unit also closely cooperate with local SPDC officials. In making new satellite town the local officials conscripted forced labour from civilians in Ye town and the nearest villagers to clear the land in September. They also used government bulldozers to balance the level of land spaces. Township resettlement committee was also formed and the satellite was also made up with main roads, equal space of section, and put some facilities. But the electricity and water are not yet available.
After the land was completely prepared, it was divided into many housing land spaces. According to reliable source, the land was divided into 268 spaces for housing and garden and each land space is with 40 feet in width and 60 feet in length. After the land was confiscated and was prepared to be ready to build houses, only one space of land was given to former land owners. They did not receive the possible price of their land and actually it was confiscated without compensation. Under the management of township resettlement committee, all of these housing lands were shared to military commanders, government officials and township government servants including teachers and nurses. In the land sharing process, the committee have the serial numbers of land and just registered the names of military commanders, government officials and servants in the registration. Thus, almost these housing lands were owned by to officials and government servants.
After the lands were shared, a little number of low rank military officials and government servants, who really did not have any land, moved into these new resettlement site. The top officials already have their own land and house mostly in the main place of town and did not need more lands, but instructed the resettlement committee to sell these lands and then to give them cash. Normally, these top SPDC officials received the housing lands on the main roads and the price for these lands have better price if compare with other lands.
The housing land spaces that owned or registered for top officials could receive 50,000-100,000 Kyat per space. These places must be used as a main center to open tea shops, commodity shops, video theatre, etc., for buyers. The lowest price of land is costed about 10,000 Kyat which are far from the main roads. Some government servants who have low income and face difficult situation for survival also came and stayed in these places. However the low rank military officials with ranks Sergeant and ordinary soldiers did not get any land.
However, the creation of satellite town and resettlement program was not targeted for the displaced populations in the area. These housing space lands were distributed for the higher ranks officials to resettle in that place or to sell it for their own profit as they like. However, many land traders, business men who close to government officials also bought these lands and aimed to do business or to re-sell it when they get profit. The displaced population anyhow who fled from the rural area and lost homes because of war and fighting also decided to stay in this new satellite town.
Since 1993, after the government planned to implement the government infrastructure projects in this area, the rural villagers have been constantly subjected to be forced labour in building railway roads, motor roads, bridges, etc.,. Besides contributing free manual labour for these development projects, various kinds of tax for development projects, which was later so-called as border area development program, have been collected by the government or military officials. Thus, many families escaped from the conscription of forced labour and tax payment in development sites.
On the other hand, thousands of villagers have been unsafe during the fighting between, the ethnic rebel groups and the Burmese Army (tatmadaw). They were always requested to provide the set number of frontline civilian porters and pottering fees, and sometimes thousands of villagers were suddenly arrested by soldiers when tatmadaw launched intensive military offensives against the ethnic armed rebels.
Because of these worst situation in rural area, thousands of villagers have been displaced in their own area or some of them fled to Ye town, where they felt more safe than in their villages. They approached and stayed with their relatives in the town, and so they could escape constant forced labour, forced porterage, and unusual tax collection. However, these displaced populations have no homes and lands for houses. These displaced populations by the help of the relatives or by selling their own belongings, bought these lands and settled in new satellite town. Depending on the financial situation of each family, some families could buy some lands with middle price. However, all of cash flow into the pockets of military and government officials.
Such land confiscation and establishment of new satellite towns have been arranged by Mon State LORC/ PDC since 1990 and many places of satellite town have occurred. Land confiscations in downtown areas of Moulmein, Mudon, Thanbyuzayat towns of Mon State were already taken place by government officials with cooperation of local military battalions. Normally, the government and military officials illegally received a lot of profit whenever land confiscation and establishment of new satellite town was taken place.
The Political Oppression in Mon State
Arrest in Mon State
Since June, after the NLD called to convene the People Parliament with all MPs elected from 1990 general elections, many hundreds of elected NLD MPs and the members were arrested in Rangoon, other cities and rural area. In calling the convention of national parliament, the elected non-Burman ethnic MPs have supported this political process and closely cooperated with NLD activities. In many non-Burman ethnic political party, Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF) also earnestly participated in this struggle. Therefore, many ethnic MPs and supporters have been arrested along with NLD.
On September 6 and the following day on 7, No. 5 Military Intelligence (MI), which bases in Moulmein and the local battalions arrested three Mon ethnic MPs and a member of Presidium from MNDF. Many other NLD MPs, members and supporters were also arrested by the military. Three arrested Mon MPs are Nai Tun Them, Chairman of MNDF and elected from Thanbyuzayat township constituency (2); Dr. Mm Soe Lin, General Secretary of MNDF and elected from Ye township constituency (1); Dr. Min Kyi Win, Joint Secretary of MNDF and elected from Mudon township constituency (2), and the MNDF Presidium member Nai Ngwe Thein were arrested by the regime. When MI No. 5 arrested these MPs and MNDF leaders, they did not take any arrest warrant papers and arrested them as criminals like robber or thief. Normally MI No. 5 units by cooperating with the nearest local military battalions arrested these MPs and MNDF members.
The two Mon MPs, Dr. Min Soe Lin, Dr. Min Kyi Win and Nai Ngwe Thein have been detained in Moulmein jail for nearly two months and Nai Tun Thein was detained in MI detention center. All of these Mon MPs and leaders are charged under the 1950 Emergency Provision Act and other repressive laws and acts for their role supporting the convention of People Parliament and the formation of the Committee Representing People's Parliament (CRPP). MNDF has been a member of non-Burman ethnic umbrella organization, Union Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD) and this umbrella organization has about 20 members.
The formation of CRPP was declared in September and the MNDF also gave mandate to U Aye Tha Aung to represent MNDF and other three ethnic political parties including Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) and Zomi (Chin) National Congress (ZNC), in supporting and forming of CPRR on September 16, 1998. CPRR was formed with 10 committee members including NLD Chairman U Tin Oo and General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Besides the Mon MPs and MNDF top leaders, NLD MPs, members and supporters were also arrested in the first week of September. The NLD MPs, Dr. Kyin Thein of Ye Constituency No. 2, and Col. Maung Maung Kyi of Thanbyuzayat Constituency No. 1 were also arrested together with many NLD members and supporters. Dr. Kyin Thein and eight NLD members have been detained in Ye town's LIB No. 343 military battalion's detention center while Col. Maung Maung Kyi is being detained in IB No. 32 military battalion's detention center. They are also called as government's special guests and the regime did not charge with any act but the government and military officials have constantly forced to resign from NLD and to declare against the NLD CEC decision to call People Parliament.
The Recent Activities of MNDF and Mon Leaders
Nai Tun Thein and Nai Ngwe Thein are prominent leaders of Mon people and they have for several years participated in political struggle for the greater rights of Mon people and recognition of equal racial rights and self-autonomy for all ethnic races in Burma. In pre-independence time of Burma, the two young men also actively participated in a Mon political organization, Mon Freedom League, with many young leaders and demanded to exercise the rights to maintaining their cultural and literature role. However, the new parliamentary government had rejected their demand and used the way of political oppression against the Mon leaders and political organization. Some Mon leaders were killed and many others were arrested and detained during these days.
Then the two men went underground with other young Mon leaders and formed a political party, Mon People Front (MPF), and revolted the Rangoon governments by means of armed struggle. Both of them were CEC member of MPF during 1948-1958, and when U Nu government invited the armed groups to participate in general elections and change their arms with democratic way, MPF and nearly all of its members went into legal hold and surrendered to Rangoon government in July, 1958. Under the leadership of MPF, the Mon leaders also entered in elections and the Mon representatives -were also elected as MPs to people parliament in 1959 general elections. However, Gen. Ne Win took over power and arrested all democratic and ethnic leaders including Mon leaders. Both Nai Tun Thein and Nai Ngwe Thein were arrested and sentenced long-term imprisonment in jails. After nearly 10 years in jail, they were released and had no opportunity to participate the political activities during 1962 to 1988 under the rule of one party military dictatorship, BSPP government.
In 1988, when a pro-democracy demonstration occurred in country wide Burma, these two leaders also organized new young Mon leaders and participated in struggle for establishment of democratic Burma with full rights of ethnic people. Mon National Democratic Movement Front (MNDMF) was formed in Mon State and had participated in the struggle. Later, after Gen. Saw Maung led SLORC took over power in September, 1988, the Mon political party
MNDF was formed. In the new formed political party MNDF, many young leaders like Dr. Min Soe Lin and Dr. Min Kyi Win also became key member in the struggle.
MNDF registered as a political party in General Elections Holding Commission on 17 October, 1988. The MNDF was organized only one Mon political party representing the Mon people and participated in 1990 general elections. 5 of its 19 representatives was elected in the elections while four MPs won election in Mon State and one won in Karen State. Therefore, MNDF was the fifth winning party in the elections. After elections and during 1991-1992, MNDF had actively participated in political activities under the leadership of UNLD to pressure on military regime to transfer power to the winning parties. However, the election result was not honoured and MNDF was disbanded like many other ethnic political party in 1992 for their attempts and calls against the military regime to transfer power to winning parties and to allow to hold People Assembly.
MNDF was disbanded on March 19, 1992 by SLORC and top leaders Nai Ngwe Thein and Nai Tun Thein and party superintendent Nai Nyunt Aung were arrested and detained until NMSP reached for a ceasefire agreement with SLORC on June 29, 1995. At that time, these leaders were also charged according to 1950 Emergency Provision Act by the regime and were sentenced with 15-20 year imprisonment term and imprisoned in Moulmein jail. When NMSP had dealt for ceasefire talks with SLORC during 1994-1995, NMSP constantly asked to release Mon political prisoners and therefore, MNDF leaders were released during NMSP-SLORC ceasefire talk. Before release, the SLORC also asked promise from these leaders to not participate in the political struggle against the military government in the future.
Although MNDF was disbanded, the activity of MNDF and its leaders for the democratization of Burma and establishment of genuine union of Burma was not stopped. After the Mon leaders were released, NLD's Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was also released from house arrest. Therefore, the Mon leaders have good opportunity to strengthen the own party and unity among with other non-Burman ethnic political parties and NLD.
On June 6, 1988, Nai Tun Thein, representing the disbanded MNDF, and other three key ethnic leaders signed and sent a letter to SPDC Chairman, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, and had appealed and requested the military regime to honour the result of 1990 general elections and accept the political dialogue with democratic opposition and ethnic representatives. The other three ethnic leaders who signed the letter were: Dr. Saw Mra Aung, the Chairman of ALD; Khun Tun Oo, the Chairman of SNLD; and Cin Shian Thang, the Chairman of ZNC. Among the four political parties, only SNLD was recognized as legal political party and the rest three parties were already disbanded by SLORC/SPDC.
The Restriction and Discrimination against the Rights of Mon People
Although MNDF was disbanded in 1992, the party and the leaders have been remained as activists in struggle to maintain the national identity of Mon people. Similar to BSPP era, the SLORC/SPDC military regime has conducted their assimilation policy against the ethnic minorities and the Mon people are also hardly struggling for the survival of literature, culture and ethnic identity. In the struggle, when the leaders MNDF could not make effort to retain the political rights, the party and its members have led the Mon people in the movements maintaining Mon literature and culture. Since BSPP era, the Mon people have formed "Mon Youth Organization", "Association for Summer Mon literature and Buddhist teaching training", "Mon literature and culture committee" and has opened Mon literacy training and encourage the young Mons to learn Mon literature. In some villages, the community also operates opening Mon national schools and let their children attend those schools. As annual celebration, the Mon people celebrate their special occasion, Mon National Day, in February of every year. All activities arranging for Mon literacy trainings, running Mon national schools and celebrating of Mon national Day are always disturbed by the government officials.
In February, 1997, the celebration of Golden Jubilee Mon national day was also prohibited by the government officials in Mon State. On the eve of Mon national day celebration on February 22, the ready prepared occasion in most towns in Mon State was ordered by No. 5 MI to stop celebrating. MI also gave directive order to every town in Mon State to stop the ceremony.
This forcible prevention of the Mon national day made the whole Mon populace to be angry and created more dissatisfaction on the government. This Mon national day is important day for Mon people to remember the day of establishment of Mon Kingdom in lower part of current Burma. Before the celebration, the respective celebrating committees were formed in many villages and towns and these committees had prepared the ceremony for three months to celebrate smooth and proper ceremonies. In preparation, the committees had tried hard in collecting funds, distributing pamphlets, requesting suitable grounds and etc.. When all preparing processes were completed, at the end, the celebration was officially and immediately prohibited. MI and local SLORC also forced the celebrating committees to hold the celebrations in monasteries and other religious places which had small and limited space to celebrate such big occasion.
In July, 1998, Mon State PDC and MI 5 have also attempted to close down all Mon national schools in their control area (see The Mon Forum, Issue No. 6). The Mon community mostly in rural area has established many Mon schools in the villages and encourage for the running of Mon national education system in these schools. The government and military officials accused these national schools as competitive schools. The officials restricted the Mon students' access for Mon education and said only the government published curriculum text books are allowed to teach in schools and the schools which are not recognized by the government are not allowed to run. During this forcible prohibition of Mon national education and the authorities' attempts to close down Mon national schools, some Mon teachers are not only forced to leave from schools and students are also forced to not join the Mon schools.
Similarly, the summer season Mon literacy training is always disturbed by the government officials. The Mon community leaders such as Mon Buddhist monks, university Mon students, village leaders has arranged for this summer Mon literature training to teach Mon language to Mon students. At the same time, the government officials also instruct their government teachers or village USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association) members to open other training with objectives to disturb the Mon literacy training. USDA members and government teachers also arrange USDA training, Buddhist cultural training, and other trainings to compete against the Mon literacy training. They also forced the Mon students to join these training or pressure these students if they do not join such training or join Mon literature training, they may not pass the government final school exams. Normally these students enter the final exam in March, and these trainings are arranged in April-May, and the result of final exam will come out before the end of May. Therefore, USDA members and government have opportunity to give pressure to Mon students to not join the Mon literacy training.
Under this circumstance, the Mon people have tried hard for the survival of the Mon literature, culture and identity. The successive governments have continuously restricted against these activities and many activists have been arrested, tortured, detained and killed by the government officials, MI units and soldiers since BSPP led by Gen. Ne Win came into power.
MNDF Role for the Mon People
The MNDF have active not only for the political field by cooperating with other democratic and ethnic opposition against the military regime, its members are also active in activities for the summer season Mon literacy training and other political defiance against the government. MNDF and community leaders such as Mon Buddhist monks, and village youth organization have closely coordinated and conducted the literacy training.
When the Golden Jubilee Mon National Day was prohibited, the Central Celebrating Committee that based in Moulmein strongly criticize the Mon State LORC officials. The Central Celebrating Committee consisted of many members of MNDF, Dr. Min Soe Lin was also elected as General Secretary of the ceremony and the committee planned to celebrate the biggest ceremony in the largest ground "Maing Dar" in Moulmein. The authorities would not like to see the mass activities of Mon people and they prohibited before the day of celebration, and the Central Celebrating Committee immediately decided to not celebrate the special occasion in the places where were instructed by authorities. The authorities have pushed all celebrating committees to celebrate only in monasteries but not in the public places or grounds. Therefore, Mon State LORC also dissatisfied on MNDF for its defiance activities and statement against the government. Later on, other activities were also banned by MI 5 and MNDF defiance against the government have been grown.
Related to the decision to not celebrate Mon National Day in government set place, latter activities refusing for constant tax collection gathered by authorities and criticism on Visit Myanmar Year, Dr. Min Soe Lin was arrested on November 6, 1997. He was detained nearly for one month and the MI 5 tried to charge under the article 5 (j) of Emergency Provision Act. Because of appeal by NMSP leaders to Lt. Gen Ket Sein, the Commander of Southeast Military Command, he was released in early January. Since then, he was subsequently placed on the military's most wanted list.
However, he did not stop his defiance activities. In August, 1998, about two weeks before he was arrested, he also wrote a letter to NMSP CC members who were holding a meeting in a Mon village. By representing MNDF, as a General Secretary of the party, he also pointed out the result of NMSP-SLORC/SPDC ceasefire agreement after three years. He also encourages NMSP leaders to find political solution and pressure the military regime to open for political talks.
In his letter, he pointed out four main points. These are:
(1) The NMSP has gradually lost political rights and the regime has also prohibited and restricted the political activities of NMSP,
(2) The regime broke the promise to NMSP to offer more economic rights than the individuals or business companies. NMSP has gradually lost chance to do business and its contracts are banned by government and at the moment, all NMSP economic activities are becoming under the control of the regime.
(3) The NMSP administration power is becoming loose, and no administrative body is adopted among the Mon populace.
(4) Similarly, NMSP juricial power has less influence among the Mon people and they are now losing protection from NMSP.
He added that if NMSP does not try to uplift its activities and dare to request the regime to hold a political talk, it can not fulfil the desire of the Mon people. As a political party, if the NMSP closely operates and follows according to instruction of SPDC in economic deals and not tries to push SPDC to accept peaceful political negotiation, all NMSP activities are like supporting the military regime to grip in power. The letter suggested to strengthen the unity of the party and participate in activities for restoration of democracy and human rights for the whole populace of the country, equal racial rights for all ethnic people. In conclusion, it added the NMSP has concrete policy against the military regime, strongly believe to topple the dictatorship in its previous congresses and meetings. However, when it actually implemented its policy in practice, it has more cooperation that supports the regime and so the party should review their policy and to implement accordingly to its initial policy.
SPDC's Allegation Against MNDF Leaders
Because of the above mentioned political activities against the regime and MI has placed the names of four MNDF leaders, Nai Tun Thein, Nai Ngwe Thein, Dr. Min Soe Lin and Dr. Min Kyi Win, in the military regime's most wanted political leaders' list. Nai Tun Thein and Nai Ngwe Them were arrested in Rangoon while the other two leaders were arrested in their own houses. Nai Ngwe Them was brought to Moulmein after arrest. Therefore, at the moment, Nai Ngwe Thein, Dr. Min Kyi Win and Dr. Min Kyi Win are in Moulmein jail.
These three political prisoners were brought to Moulmein district court on September 23, October 16, and 27 respectively. In the court hearing, the authorities did not allow any lawyers and only allowed pro-military witnesses and they were mainly charged under the 1950 Emergency Provision Act for their roles supporting the CRPP and activities of NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that have endangered the security of the country and disrupt the unity of tatmadaw. Besides the 1950 Emergency Provision Act, there are many degrees and laws to criminalize these political prisoners by regime.
While the military and MI searched the whole houses of these leaders, except Nai Tun Them, they also received some books, newsletters, statements released from organizations from Thailand which are alleged illegal. But they received correspondence letters from NLD and other ethnic political parties and August letter to NMSP CC members analyzing its stance on the regime.
When the authorities received the publications and documents from opposition parties in the librated area, these also against the 1962 Printers' and Publishers' Registration Law. As a disbanded political party, MNDF has no rights to write letter and cooperate with other legal political parties and these activities also against the 1957 Unlawful Association Act. Similarly, the cooperations with CRPP, NLD and other ethnic political parties and their attempts to convene People Assembly was also accused participated in the movement against 1996 SLORC issued law No. 5/96 "Protection of Stable, Peaceful, and Systematic Transfer of State Responsibility and the Successful Implementation of National Convention Tasks, Free from Disruption and Opposition".
MI 5 also alleged Dr. Min Soe Lin for his letter to NMSP that he has attempted to break the NMSP-SPDC ceasefire agreement. In the allegation, the MI said he have been trying to (1) create misunderstanding between the government and NMSP; (2) create misunderstanding among NMSP members; (3) put his destructive political opinion among the Mon populace and NMSP members to against the ceasefire and; (4) disrupt the unity the government and ceasefire groups and disrupt the stable situation of the country.
When the military and MI searched Nai Tun Thein house, the authorities did receive only correspondence letters from NLD and other organizations. He could be charged under 1950 Emergency Provision Act and SLORC's No. 5/96 Law. The rest three leaders could be charged not only above two laws but also are charged under 1962 Printers' and Publishers' Registration Law, 1957 Unlawful Association Act.