Elected MP Ohn Kyaing arrested

Oct 2, 2008 (DVB), U Ohn Kyaing, a National League for Democracy member and dedicated participant in cyclone relief efforts, was arrested last night at about midnight, according to an NLD spokesperson.

The 64-year-old elected member of parliament from South East Mandalay township is a writer the pen name Aung Wint and was one of the organisers of the NLD's cyclone assistance.

Authorities also confiscated his mobile phone and spent a couple of hours searching through his papers.

The grounds for his arrest are not yet clear.

Ohn Kyaing had recently expressed his support for U Win Tin and praised him for energising NLD members after the long-serving political prisoner was released on 23 September.

He had also been heavily involved in post-cyclone relief efforts before his arrest, and had visited the areas affected by Cyclone Nargis about 10 times.

He spoke to DVB yesterday about his most recent trip two weeks ago, when he went with a group to give assistance to cyclone survivors.

A doctor with the group who set up mobile clinics to serve the areas visited said that many people had become ill and were malnourished.

Ohn Kyaing said the group had been harassed by security officials and said some villagers were afraid to get help from them.

"Our group was followed by security forces wherever we went, then they asked local authorities what we had been doing and saying," Ohn Kyaing said.

"Local groups told us that they still need help, that’s why we went there."

Reporting by Aye Nai and Htet Aung Kyaw

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