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Cablegate: Burma: Police Arrest a Fifth Mp-Elect

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS RANGOON 000406

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, DRL
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PINS PGOV BM NLD
SUBJECT: BURMA: POLICE ARREST A FIFTH MP-ELECT

REF: A. RANGOON 366
B. RANGOON 345 AND PREVIOUS (NOTAL)
C. RANGOON 332 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) According to the NLD Central Executive Committee
(CEC), the police arrested U Saw Hlaing, a MP-elect from
Indaw, Sagaing Division, on March 30. He had just returned
to his home district after MC'ing the NLD's "Resistance Day"
observance on March 27 (ref A). According to the CEC,
authorities sent U Saw Hlaing immediately to Katha prison in
the remote reaches of northern Sagaing. It is not entirely
clear what he is being charged with. However, NLD sources
assume that the confiscation of his personal computer
indicates a charge under the Press Act or Printing and
Publishing Act -- both aimed at censoring publications and
both carrying prison sentences. In reality, though, his
arrest likely stems from U Saw Hlaing's increasing activism
and close ties with the NLD's youth movement (he is in his
mid 40s, contrasted with the octogenarian CEC members).

2. (SBU) U Saw Hlaing, previously arrested and released
following the GOB's attack on Aung San Suu Kyi in May 2003,
is the fifth MP-elect arrested in 2005 (ref B). His
detention is yet another illustration of the GOB's newly
invigorated strategy of rounding up the most active members
of the various opposition groups (ref C), while releasing a
small handful of political prisoners it sees as no further
threat.
Martinez

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