TNLA detains ethnic Shan woman for legal action

By YE MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) says it detained an ethnic Shan woman in the town of Namkham in northern Shan State on August 17 so that she could face action under the ethnic armed group’s justice system.

TNLA spokesperson Lieutenant Mai Aik Kyaw refused to say what charges Nang Mo Hwan, 36, is facing or where she is being held, but insisted she was healthy and would not be tortured.

“Don’t worry about her health – she is well. Our legal team will decide soon on whether to take action. We will let her family know when the trial has started. I can’t say any more than that,” Aik Kyaw said.

Mo Hwan’s husband, Sai Saw Shwe, said he had no idea why the group had suddenly detained his wife or where she was being held. He said the TNLA regularly extorted money from residents of Namkham but he had always paid them off. “I’m worried about her safety. I want her to be released immediately,” he said.

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The Namkham Youth Network has condemned the TNLA, accusing it of behaving like Myanmar’s former military dictators.

In a statement, the group said the TNLA detained Mo Hwan at her home in central Namkham, destroyed the CCTV cameras at her house and took computer hard drives.

Namkham Youth Network leader Sai Shwe Thein said the detention of Mo Hwan was a violation of her human rights and could create ethnic tensions between the Shan and Ta’ang.

“They told the media that they will take action under TNLA law. I don’t know this law,” he said.

“[The TNLA is behaving] just like the military junta. They do what they want; they don’t care what anyone says about them.”

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