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Bauk Ja, a Kachin activist, evades police capture

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – National Democratic Force (NDF) member Bauk Ja, who is a leader in the signature campaign against the Myitsone Dam project, said that she has evaded arrest by police since she was informed they were searching for her this week.
National Democratic Force member Bauk Ja. Photo: MizzimaOn Sunday, while traveling from Rangoon to Mandalay, a person close to a Military Affairs Security Unit in Myitkyina informed Bauk Ja that police were waiting for her in a railway station and at her home to arrest her.
“A person informed me,” she said. “When the person asked me where I was, I answered that I was in Mandalay. Then, the person told me not to return because police were waiting for me not only in my home but also the railway station,” Bauk Ja told Mizzima. Similarly, in January police inquired about Bauk Ja at her home in Aungya Village in Hpakant Township in Kachin State. She was informed in advance and evaded police then also.
On Sunday and Monday, police asked her lawyer Myint Thwin whether Bauk Ja came to his house in Mandalay and monitored the house, according to Myint Thwin.
“She has to evade them,” he said. “I don’t know exactly the reason. I don’t know what the police want to do. So, I’m still inquiring about it,” Myint Thwin told Mizzima.

Bauk Ja said she has participated in the ongoing signature campaign against the Myitsone Dam project, collecting signatures from people in Rangoon, Irrawaddy, Mandalay, Sagaing, Magway, Pegu [Bago], Bagan and Monywa, all located along the Irrawaddy River.

Originally, along with several lawyers, she had planned to provide training for party canvassing to farmers at the headquarters of the Kachin State National Democratic Force party in Myitkyina, but she was unable to travel there, she said.
She told Mizzima that she thought that the authorities were trying to arrest her to prevent her organizing similar signature campaigns in Kachin State.
The ward administrative office chiefs in Hpakant Township asked Christian churches whether she had organized signature campaign against Myitsone Dam, she said.
Recently, after widespread objections against construction of the dam, Burmese No. 1 Electrical Power Minister Zaw Min cited Parliamentary decisions as the authorization for moving ahead on the project. On the other hand, the NDF headquarters issued a party statement saying the approval of the Myitsone Dam project by Parliament was not enough to continue it and the authorities should ask for people’s opinions.
Bauk Ja has also worked to help farmers file compensation lawsuits against the Yuzana Company owned by former junta business associate Htay Myint, which seized farmland around five villages in Hpakant Township in Mohnyin District.

She ran unsuccessfully in the general election in 2010 as an NDF candidate in Hpakant Township. After the election, she filed a lawsuit with the Election Commission Tribunal against the current Union Minister for Cooperatives, Ohn Myint, (a former major general) of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party for electoral fraud. She later dropped the lawsuit.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 September 2011 22:17 )  

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