Authorities destroy memorial for deceased opposition member

Mar 26, 2009 (DVB), A stone monument built in memory of a former National League for Democracy chair was demolished by local government authorities on Tuesday, according to his family.

Dr Hla Aung, chair of the NLD in Wundwin township and 1990 elected people's parliament representative for Wundwin, died on March 17.

His family erected a stone monument in which his ashes were held on land owned by him in Tae Su village.

Local NLD secretary Aung Thu told DVB that the next day the monument was demolished by village authorities and a local Union Solidarity and Development Association official, Kyaw Swa.

"It's like a tradition in Burmese villages to build stone monuments in dedication of someone who passed away but the authorities claimed the law doesn't allow people to do this kind of thing," said Aung Thu.

Hla Aung's daughter Ma Khine said she was outraged by the authorities' move.

"That is really harsh to us and also very unfair but we had no chance to complain to them as they are government authorities and the power is in their hands," she said.

"I feel so sad and outraged about this."

Hla Aung was appointed as Wundwin NLD chair in January 1988. He was elected as a people's parliament representative for the region in 1990.

He was frequently detained by the government throughout his position in the NLD. His last detention was following the monk-led protests in September 2007, when he spent one month in Mandalay prison.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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