Myanmar’s retired general being held for attempted murder?

Written by Staff Writer In an announcement at 5 p.m. on July 30 state-run TV said the state prosecutor will ask that the 15,000 baht ($500) charge be upgraded to one of “economic offences.”…

Myanmar's retired general being held for attempted murder?

Written by Staff Writer

In an announcement at 5 p.m. on July 30 state-run TV said the state prosecutor will ask that the 15,000 baht ($500) charge be upgraded to one of “economic offences.”

Another state-run news agency, Nay Aye Kan, said Kyaw Min Swe is accused of several offenses linked to economic corruption including forgery of a document and abuse of power.

There is currently no indication whether Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw, who can exercise limited executive power, will follow up on a constitutional clause to make the arrest.

Kyaw Min Swe’s trial for an earlier charge of treason relating to an aborted assassination plot against Suu Kyi in the 1980s will resume on August 13 after several adjournments.

Sitting down with the nation

This latest news comes in the wake of a nationwide nationwide televised forum between the first civilian president and the head of the military which prompted Suu Kyi to call for an end to violence against Muslims.

“War is not the answer,” said Suu Kyi. “Violence is not a way to address grievances or demand our respect. Both of us are accountable for the consequences of such military operations.”

The forum was the first time the country’s commanders in chief — Tatmadaw — have held an open meeting with the civilian commander-in-chief since Suu Kyi and the military released ceasefires in several conflicts since 2015.

The forum gave the first public airing of infighting between the commander-in-chief’s office and the military that has led to increased violence.

A ceasefire between army and the Kokang ethnic Chinese rebel group fell apart last week. There are nearly 30 ceasefires across Myanmar, but fighting continues in parts of central Myanmar, which has seen renewed violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

In April, the US State Department imposed sanctions on five Myanmar army leaders for “serious violations of human rights.” One of those leaders, Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, was called upon by Suu Kyi to help broker a ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army.

“It’s not possible for all to come together in peace, but we have to continue to try,” said Suu Kyi.

Kyaw Min Swe and Kyaw Lwin were also called upon by Suu Kyi to join the dialogue and reschedule their rape trials.

Kyaw Lwin’s prosecution is currently being held for the crimes of rape and political imprisonment.

The testimony of an ethnic Karen witness, who said she was raped by the military during a crackdown in northwestern Myanmar in 1982, will add weight to Kyaw Min Swe’s defense. She was arrested and tortured by military interrogators, who she said told her, “your beautiful sexiness is now a problem for the establishment.”

“The official policy of the military is to use sexual abuse as an instrument of war,” the military official, the ranking officer in her unit, told Judge Khin Ye Htien after his testimony last week.

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