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Second NLD member attacked in Hlaing Tharyar

Apr 7, 2008 (DVB), National League for Democracy member U Tin Yu needed more than 20 stitches in his face after being attacked early on Friday morning in what he said was a premeditated assault.

Tin Yu, a 50-year-old member of the Hlaing Tharyar township NLD organising committee, said he was attacked at around 2.20am on 4 April while waiting for a bus to go to San Pya market.

"While I was waiting at the road junction at around 2.20am, a motorcycle with two riders pulled up," Tin Yu explained.

"The pillion passenger was a young man with a yellow shirt and the man in front had a walkie-talkie at his waist."

Motorcycles are banned in Rangoon, and are usually only ridden by government officials or supporters.

"As I was standing, they rode past me and went to a shop selling betel nut," Tin Yu continued.

"After I had been standing for a while, I sat down and that was when they headed back towards me and hit me in the face," he said.

"I needed more than 20 stitches under my right eye and some more in the centre of my forehead."

Tin Yu said he could not see out of his right eye, and had been given eye drops and medication.

"I have to go back to the hospital on 24 March when I will get my results. They said I was bleeding from my eye," he said.

U Tin Yu said he believed the attack was premeditated because the authorities had been keeping him under surveillance.

"About three days before I was attacked, two local surveillance men came to my home at around 2am to watch me go to the market," Tin Yu said.

"They have been doing that about every other day. The last time I left for the market, there were two or three of them waiting for me," he said.

"There were trishaw drivers and passengers at the bus stop, so they didn’t do anything then. Today, there was only one trishaw driver and the place was very quiet. No other bus passengers were there at the bus stop. That was when they attacked me."

Tin Yu said he believed the authorities were involved in the attack.

"The only people who have walkie-talkies are Swan Arr Shin, the Union Solidarity and Development Association, and the Fire Services Department," he said.

"Of course, the police and the military intelligence also have them. So, who can it be except them?"

Tin Yu said he had reported the attack to Hlaing Tharyar police station.

Tin Yu has been arrested by authorities on several occasions, and said the attack would not stop him working for democracy.

"As long as I live, I will continue working for democracy until it is achieved. I will always keep my morale up," Tin Yu said.

"I have been detained several times, my son has been detained, and now I have been attacked. We are like the living dead. There is no law or justice in our country," he said.

"We cannot rely on anyone. Even if we go and report our case, no one will take it up seriously."

This is the third time a political activist has been attacked since 27 March.

On 31 March, Hlaing township NLD member U Myint Hlaing, a close friend of Tin Yu, was hospitalised with head wounds after being attacked by an unknown assailant while walking near his home.

This followed an attack on Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network member U Myint Aye on 27 March, in which he also sustained head injuries.

No arrests have so far been made in connection with the attacks.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw


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