Search

 

Cablegate: Gob Gets Revenge for Forced Labor Convictions

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

UNCLAS RANGOON 001174

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS; PACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ELAB BM
SUBJECT: GOB GETS REVENGE FOR FORCED LABOR CONVICTIONS

REF: RANGOON 178 AND PREVIOUS

1. SUMMARY: Ma Su Su Nway, an NLD youth member who
successfully sued local Burmese officials last January for
subjecting local residents to forced labor, was herself
counter-sued in the same court, and on October 13 was
sentenced to 18 months in prison. Her supporters, including
renowned student leaders Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, turned
out in significant numbers for her sentencing, forcing the
authorities to escort her to court under heavy security, lest
any disturbances erupt. The GOB appears to be turning the
clock back on what had been considered gains in efforts to
stamp out forced labor. END SUMMARY.

2. On October 13, Kawhmu Township Court, Rangoon Division
sentenced NLD member Ma Su Su Nway to 18 months in prison.
Her legal counsel had expected only a 7-day sentence and a
possible fine.

3. On January 31, in the same court, she had successfully
sued local Kawhmu authorities, whom the court convicted and
sentenced to 8-month jail terms for using local residents to
do forced labor. Another official, U Kyaw Lwin, though not
named in her initial suit, counter-sued her on April 21,
resulting in this conviction. His suit came after Kyaw Lwin
and another official loudly denounced Su Su Nway at a public
bus station in her presence, following the convictions of
local officials. She defended herself and in the ensuing
altercation, both sides hurled invectives and cursed each
other. Judge Htay Htay Win charged her under Section 294 for
allegedly cursing at local officials in public, and Section
506 for threatening a government official.

4. A surprisingly large crowd of 150-200 supporters from her
village attended the court hearing and announcement of the
verdict. The courtroom was packed and many more spectators
gathered outside. Nine former student leaders, including
past political prisoners Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, turned
up to show their support for Su Su Nway. Worried about a
possible outbreak of disturbances, the authorities escorted
Su Su Nway under heavy security. As she left the court Min
Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, and the local NLD MP-elect escorted her
to the waiting police vehicle while the crowd showered her
with flowers. Three policewomen and two policemen drove her
away to Insein Prison.

5. COMMENT: Landmark forced labor convictions in this same
court earlier this year gave hope that the GOB would finally
take action against local authorities who abused citizens.
Clearly the authorities have had second thoughts. This
verdict against a woman who dared to stand up to local
authorities and successfully sued them in court effectively
discourages others who had hoped to seek legal redress
against abusive authorities. END COMMENT.
Villarosa

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>

Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>