3

rd
March 2011


To Whom It May Concern:

I am issuing this letter to call attention to abuses of power and malfeasance by Maung Maung
General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), and General Secretary of
the National Coalition of the Union of Burma (NCUB).

The decision to issue this statement was difficult in light of the adverse effects and consequences
it may have upon others. However, I believe it is imperative that I speak out as the matters
elaborated herein are indicative of long standing problems within FTUB which jeopardize the
future of the Burmese labor movement. My several attempts to rectify these matters internally
were unsuccessful. I feel therefore that I have a responsibility to expose these problems and to
end a conspiracy of silence.

In particular, I wish to draw attention to six long-standing features of Maung Maung’s leadership
which are contrary to the ideals of the labor and democracy movements: the non-democratic
selection or leaders, the arbitrary termination of dissenting members, malfeasance, divisive in-
fighting, suspicious travels to Burma, and threats of violence and other acts of retribution.


Non-Democratic Selection of Leaders:

Maung Maung has served as the general secretary of the FTUB since its founding in 1991, a
position to which he appointed himself. In March 2009, eighteen years after its founding,
FTUB held its first congress to elect executive members. However, the election was a sham.
Current CEC members told the inner circle of FTUB that the Congress was just a show to obtain
affiliation with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The Congress failed to adhere to internationally accepted norms and procedures in electing
leaders. There were no credential checks of the representative of unions, nor were persons who
voted required to be members or designated representatives from unions. As it were, many
Central Executive Committee members are not representatives of any union, nor have many ever
belonged to a union. Neither current Vice President Ronnie Maung Than Lwin, nor Assistant
General Secretary General Zaw Win Aung were ever union members. Although Maung Maung
and Hla Oo were union members in 1988, there was no evidence that they still represent these
unions at the time of the election.

CEC candidates ran unopposed. Moreover, candidates were named for only four of the five CEC
positions, with no candidate designated for the position of Treasurer. Shortly after the election,
Maung Maung relieved me of my position as secretary of finance and development, and
appointed Ronnie Maung Than Lwin as Treasurer, in addition to his position as vice-president
and handed over all the organizational finances performed by myself prior to the Congress.


Arbitrary Suspension and Termination of Members:

Since February 2010, the Maung Maung has suspended two FTUB members, who had each been
members for 18 and 19 years each, and dismissed a third Central Committee member. Maung
Maung eliminated these members because they dared to question him about financial
improprieties and poor management decisions. A fourth member who had been a member for
seventeen years has subsequently resigned in protest.

Although, FTUB is a trade union, these members were suspended and dismissed without regard
for the procedures and norms practiced by international labor unions. Soon after these
suspensions and dismissals, Ei Shwe Sin and I separately informed Steve Benedict, ITUC’s in
charge of the Trade Union Rights/Human Rights department. However, the ITUC has taken no
action nor clarified these matters.

In 2009, Maung Maung stopped talking to me after I openly questioned him in front of other
FTUB members about his financial and organizational decisions. Although a member since
1991, I was suspended from FTUB indefinitely without a stipend on 24
th
February 2010.
Although an official investigation should normally follow the suspension of a member none has
been conducted. The official suspension letter I received and my own translation is attached.

On 24
th
May 2009, Maung Maung dismissed Ei Shwe Sin in charge of women affairs and an
inland organizer. Maung Maung provided no official explanation for her termination, other than
two short lines saying she had been relieved of her duties and that she was no longer associated
with the FTUB. Maung Maung acted independently and with complete disregard for FTUB’s
constitution, which provides that Central Committee members elected at the 2009 Congress can
only be dismissed at a subsequent Congress or at an emergency Congress. The dismissal letter
from Maung Maung is attached. Shwe Sin had been a volunteer with FTUB since 2004, and was
elected to the Central Committee in 2009.

On 16
th
December 2010, Maung Maung dismissed Cho Maung, secretary of the Multi National
Department. Maung Maung’s only explanation was that he took the responsibility to appoint
Cho Maung as the secretary, and he could no longer take such responsibility, therefore Cho
Maung was dismissed by the decision of the Central Committee meeting. Cho Maung’s
dismissal letter is attached. Cho Maung had been a volunteer with the FTUB since 1992.

On 8
th
December 2010, Tin Tun Aung, Secretary for Migrant Affairs, resigned from the FTUB in
protest because the Maung Maung and Ronnie Maung Than Lwin had sidelined him and was
implementing most migrant related activities and projects independently of him. He was
sidelined because he challenged the Maung Maung and the CEC members for running the FTUB
like their own private organization. Tin Tun Aung had been a volunteer with FTUB since 1993.






Organizational finances:

Maung Maung makes all major decisions concerning the organization’s future activities and
financial matters independently of other members, often failing to even inform others of his
decisions. The majority of Central Executive Committee members neither question nor have the
courage to disagree with or amend Maung Maung’s decisions. When FTUB members dare to
question Maung Maung his frequent response is “I built FTUB myself from scratch without
anyone’s help. You can leave if you do not like what I do. Everyone is expendable.”

Since its inception, FTUB has been funded exclusively by the international trade union
movement (i.e. ITUC affiliated national centers) and the National Endowment for Democracy
(NED). Although FTUB has been operating for almost 20 years, major financial decisions
within the organization are still made solely by the Maung Maung alone, regardless of others
views and opinions.

Although I was appointed Secretary of finance and development, Maung Maung regarded me as
a mere bookkeeper within the organization, and often ignored my suggestions and advice.
Neither I, nor other members, were ever able to fully account for the organization’s finances as
several donor organizations transferred funds directly into Maung Maung’s personal bank
account.

I am aware of numerous instances of Maung Maung’s malfeasance, a few of which are
elaborated below:

In one instance, I was asked to prepare an expense summary and receipts for an audit associated
with the liquidation of funding from LO Denmark. Maung Maung handed me a few scraps of
paper for incurred expenses. Although they amounted to less than half of the total amount, he
told me to to arrange the accounts to fully account for all budgeted funds of 1.95 million Thai
baht (approximately, USD $50,000) in 2003.

During March 2004, I was asked by the Maung Maung to make a fund request to the American
Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) for a trip to Northeast of Thailand under the
pretence of observing a Thai election. Maung Maung assigned me to travel to the site as an
independent election observer. In reality I was expected to assist the brother of Maung Maung’s
lady friend Ms. Srilap, in his election campaign for the position of provincial CEO in Yasothon
Province. (The brother was a former Member of Parliament from Democrat Party of Thailand.)
In addition to travel expenses, Maung Maung also gave 300,000 Baht to his lady friend to be
used for the election campaign, which he billed as “internal organizing” for labor union activities
in Burma.

On numerous other occasions Maung Maung directed me and other members (notably Tin Tun
Aung and Ronnie Maung Than Lwin) to make frequent bank transfers of FTUB funds to his lady
friend. These transfers were then claimed as organizing expenses in Burma.

On one occasion, then International Affairs Secretary (Steve Benedict) of Canadian Labor
Congress (CLC) asked Ronnie Maung Than Lwin, FTUB’s administrative executive (current
vice-president) to elaborate how FTUB had used CLC funding to organize workers inside
Burma. Ronnie Than Lwin was dumb founded, as he was unaware that CLC funded FTUB for
internal organizing.

In another instance, Maung Maung created an organization called “Burma Institute for
Democracy and Development (BIDD) registered in Washington D.C. and Institute for
Development in Asia (IDA) in Thailand with US $500,000 donated to the FTUB by the plaintiffs
of the Unocal litigation. He used these funds at his own discretion (i.e. buying votes for his
election at NCUB by giving grants to different organizations that vote in NCUB elections),
without any consultation with other FTUB members. He also made several transfers of funds to
the account of his lady friend under the pretence of organizing activities. In 2009, at a meeting
with the current Vice President and two other former Secretaries, I questioned Maung Maung
whether he could use these funds without consulting others. He bluntly stated “Yes I can”.


Organizational integrity and unity:

FTUB is dysfunctional and disunited. Many of the Central Executive Committee members
backstab one another whenever the opportunity arises. One CEC member expressed his
intention to persevere through all of Maung Maung’s abuses biding his time to strike back and
get revenge. Similarly, other CEC members have expressed their severe disappointment with
Maung Maung’s management and expressed their intention to eliminate him when the
opportunity arises.

It is widely known that the Maung Maung expects blind praise and obedience regardless of his
poor management decisions and their longer term implications for the FTUB and its activities. It
is well known within the democratic movement that Maung Maung rewards people financially
when he is praised or receives support for his decisions, so much so that Maung Maung is known
as the ATM machine in Mae Sot.

Travel patterns of Maung Maung:

A frequent flyer statement bearing Maung Maung’s name and position as General Secretary of
the FTUB clearly states that he travelled to Rangoon on three occasions between February and
April 2008. As I was alarmed by the potential implications of this statement I shared it with
Ronnie Maung Than Lwin. Although he promised me that he would look into it he has remained
silent.

I urge people to investigate the veracity of this statement. The copy of the statement is attached.
The original statement is available for viewing.






Fear of Retribution:

Although three former FTUB members have indicated their agreement with this letter they have
refrained from co-signing out of fear for their lives. I have witnessed Maung Maung and several
other CEC members make in absentia threats against people who have upset them. These threats
have included having people falsely arrested through his friends in local law enforcement
agencies. For these reasons, I believe the concerns of my colleagues are well founded.

In light of the facts presented in this letter I urge the following;

1. The matter of Maung Maung’s apparent travel to Rangoon should be fully investigated
and proper and immediate action taken.
2. The TUR/HR department of ITUC should investigate the unfair dismissals and
suspensions of Shwe Sin Nyunt, Cho Maung, and myself, and these matters resolved
according to ITUC the procedures and norms.
3. The ITUC, ITUC (Asia-Pacific), the International Labour Organization and all national
labor centers that are supporting FTUB financially and politically should review their
policy to support FTUB with the current CEC members while it continues to misuse
funds and govern in an unconstitutional manner.

In conclusion, I am prepared to testify the facts stated here and others under oath at any court of
law or hearing. My sole reason for issuing this statement is because FTUB and its executives are
doing a major disservice to the people of Burma. Concerned parties should also hold FTUB and
its executives accountable if any harm is caused to myself or any of the three other persons
named in this letter. I request help and assistance from all concerned parties to bring an
immediate end to the FTUB’s injustice, hypocrisy, corruption and abuse of democratic and labor
rights.

Sincerely yours,


Zaw Tun
Secretary of Finance and Development (under suspension since 24
th
February 2010).


Zaw Tun
Email: zawtun1970@gmail.com
Phone: +61424167135







Federation of Trade
Unions – Burma

Responsibilities & Rights

nternational Contact
Burma Office - Japan
101-0062
3F, Sohyo Kaikan
3-2-11, Kanda-Surugadai
Chiyoda-Ku Tokyp Japan
Te;: 81 3 5296 3010
Fax: 81 3 5296 7903



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Internal matter / Not to be distributed

1. Central Executive Committee Members
2. Board Members
3. Secretariat Members
4. In Charges (Departments) / In Charges (Committees)

24
th
February 2010

Subject : Temporary suspension of Zaw Tun from Secretary position for writing
emails that discredits, as well as challenging the authority to disrupt the activities of
the Federation as General Secretary can no longer take responsibility of his actions.

As mentioned above, Zaw Tun has written emails that discredit the Federation and
forwarding them to external persons and found that;

a. Zaw Tun has breached his rights as a Secretary.
b. Forwarding the abovementioned emails to external persons and international
organizations to discredit the Federation.
c. Challenging to disrupt/cease the activities of the Federation. And as the
General Secretary who appointed Zaw Tun, I informed the Central Executive
Committee that I would no longer take responsibilities for Zaw Tun’s actions.

Additionally, it is believed that Zaw Tun is inappropriate to continue in the capacity
as Finance, due to his health conditions.

Therefore, I hereby notify that Zaw Tun has been temporarily suspended from the
position of Finance and Development Secretary.

As a result of the temporary suspension as the Secretary for breach of his rights as a
Secretary, from this day forward (24
th
February 2010) it is notified that;

1. The Central Executive Committee suspends him temporarily from the position
of Secretary.
2. Also suspends the financial support receives as a Secretary.
3. Not allowed entry to the Federation’s office unless approved and to cease
representing the Federation.


Signed
Maung Maung
General Secretary
Federation of Trade Unions Burma
Cc : Office Copy

Internal matter / Not to be distributed

in addition to his position as vice-president and handed over all the organizational finances performed by myself prior to the Congress. Non-Democratic Selection of Leaders: Maung Maung has served as the general secretary of the FTUB since its founding in 1991. As it were. . there was no evidence that they still represent these unions at the time of the election. However. nor were persons who voted required to be members or designated representatives from unions. nor have many ever belonged to a union. and appointed Ronnie Maung Than Lwin as Treasurer. Current CEC members told the inner circle of FTUB that the Congress was just a show to obtain affiliation with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). However. The Congress failed to adhere to internationally accepted norms and procedures in electing leaders. suspicious travels to Burma. Shortly after the election. the election was a sham. eighteen years after its founding. Maung Maung relieved me of my position as secretary of finance and development. FTUB held its first congress to elect executive members. I wish to draw attention to six long-standing features of Maung Maung’s leadership which are contrary to the ideals of the labor and democracy movements: the non-democratic selection or leaders. In March 2009. Neither current Vice President Ronnie Maung Than Lwin. Moreover. the arbitrary termination of dissenting members. divisive infighting. nor Assistant General Secretary General Zaw Win Aung were ever union members. The decision to issue this statement was difficult in light of the adverse effects and consequences it may have upon others. I feel therefore that I have a responsibility to expose these problems and to end a conspiracy of silence. malfeasance. There were no credential checks of the representative of unions. My several attempts to rectify these matters internally were unsuccessful. many Central Executive Committee members are not representatives of any union. CEC candidates ran unopposed. Although Maung Maung and Hla Oo were union members in 1988.3rd March 2011 To Whom It May Concern: I am issuing this letter to call attention to abuses of power and malfeasance by Maung Maung General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB). candidates were named for only four of the five CEC positions. with no candidate designated for the position of Treasurer. a position to which he appointed himself. and threats of violence and other acts of retribution. I believe it is imperative that I speak out as the matters elaborated herein are indicative of long standing problems within FTUB which jeopardize the future of the Burmese labor movement. In particular. and General Secretary of the National Coalition of the Union of Burma (NCUB).

Ei Shwe Sin and I separately informed Steve Benedict. Maung Maung eliminated these members because they dared to question him about financial improprieties and poor management decisions. Cho Maung had been a volunteer with the FTUB since 1992. which provides that Central Committee members elected at the 2009 Congress can only be dismissed at a subsequent Congress or at an emergency Congress. Although. In 2009. On 8th December 2010. Shwe Sin had been a volunteer with FTUB since 2004. Tin Tun Aung had been a volunteer with FTUB since 1993. resigned from the FTUB in protest because the Maung Maung and Ronnie Maung Than Lwin had sidelined him and was implementing most migrant related activities and projects independently of him. . Although a member since 1991. I was suspended from FTUB indefinitely without a stipend on 24th February 2010. Maung Maung dismissed Ei Shwe Sin in charge of women affairs and an inland organizer. and he could no longer take such responsibility. Cho Maung’s dismissal letter is attached. ITUC’s in charge of the Trade Union Rights/Human Rights department. Soon after these suspensions and dismissals. Although an official investigation should normally follow the suspension of a member none has been conducted. therefore Cho Maung was dismissed by the decision of the Central Committee meeting. and dismissed a third Central Committee member. Maung Maung’s only explanation was that he took the responsibility to appoint Cho Maung as the secretary. the ITUC has taken no action nor clarified these matters. However. Maung Maung acted independently and with complete disregard for FTUB’s constitution. FTUB is a trade union. these members were suspended and dismissed without regard for the procedures and norms practiced by international labor unions. and was elected to the Central Committee in 2009. Maung Maung stopped talking to me after I openly questioned him in front of other FTUB members about his financial and organizational decisions. The official suspension letter I received and my own translation is attached. secretary of the Multi National Department. who had each been members for 18 and 19 years each. The dismissal letter from Maung Maung is attached. He was sidelined because he challenged the Maung Maung and the CEC members for running the FTUB like their own private organization. Maung Maung dismissed Cho Maung. On 24th May 2009. the Maung Maung has suspended two FTUB members. Tin Tun Aung. On 16th December 2010. Maung Maung provided no official explanation for her termination.Arbitrary Suspension and Termination of Members: Since February 2010. Secretary for Migrant Affairs. other than two short lines saying she had been relieved of her duties and that she was no longer associated with the FTUB. A fourth member who had been a member for seventeen years has subsequently resigned in protest.

000) in 2003.) In addition to travel expenses.e. On numerous other occasions Maung Maung directed me and other members (notably Tin Tun Aung and Ronnie Maung Than Lwin) to make frequent bank transfers of FTUB funds to his lady friend. On one occasion. Maung Maung handed me a few scraps of paper for incurred expenses. USD $50. Maung Maung regarded me as a mere bookkeeper within the organization. ITUC affiliated national centers) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).000 Baht to his lady friend to be used for the election campaign. I am aware of numerous instances of Maung Maung’s malfeasance. (The brother was a former Member of Parliament from Democrat Party of Thailand. Neither I. Srilap. During March 2004. which he billed as “internal organizing” for labor union activities in Burma. Although FTUB has been operating for almost 20 years. then International Affairs Secretary (Steve Benedict) of Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) asked Ronnie Maung Than Lwin. FTUB has been funded exclusively by the international trade union movement (i.Organizational finances: Maung Maung makes all major decisions concerning the organization’s future activities and financial matters independently of other members. Although I was appointed Secretary of finance and development. Although they amounted to less than half of the total amount. You can leave if you do not like what I do. Everyone is expendable. nor other members. he told me to to arrange the accounts to fully account for all budgeted funds of 1. were ever able to fully account for the organization’s finances as several donor organizations transferred funds directly into Maung Maung’s personal bank account. often failing to even inform others of his decisions. In reality I was expected to assist the brother of Maung Maung’s lady friend Ms. When FTUB members dare to question Maung Maung his frequent response is “I built FTUB myself from scratch without anyone’s help. Maung Maung assigned me to travel to the site as an independent election observer. Maung Maung also gave 300. in his election campaign for the position of provincial CEO in Yasothon Province. a few of which are elaborated below: In one instance. I was asked by the Maung Maung to make a fund request to the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) for a trip to Northeast of Thailand under the pretence of observing a Thai election. FTUB’s administrative executive (current .95 million Thai baht (approximately.” Since its inception. The majority of Central Executive Committee members neither question nor have the courage to disagree with or amend Maung Maung’s decisions. I was asked to prepare an expense summary and receipts for an audit associated with the liquidation of funding from LO Denmark. These transfers were then claimed as organizing expenses in Burma. major financial decisions within the organization are still made solely by the Maung Maung alone. regardless of others views and opinions. and often ignored my suggestions and advice.

at a meeting with the current Vice President and two other former Secretaries. Although he promised me that he would look into it he has remained silent. He used these funds at his own discretion (i.vice-president) to elaborate how FTUB had used CLC funding to organize workers inside Burma. It is well known within the democratic movement that Maung Maung rewards people financially when he is praised or receives support for his decisions. The copy of the statement is attached. In another instance. Travel patterns of Maung Maung: A frequent flyer statement bearing Maung Maung’s name and position as General Secretary of the FTUB clearly states that he travelled to Rangoon on three occasions between February and April 2008. Similarly. It is widely known that the Maung Maung expects blind praise and obedience regardless of his poor management decisions and their longer term implications for the FTUB and its activities. and Institute for Development in Asia (IDA) in Thailand with US $500. One CEC member expressed his intention to persevere through all of Maung Maung’s abuses biding his time to strike back and get revenge. As I was alarmed by the potential implications of this statement I shared it with Ronnie Maung Than Lwin. .000 donated to the FTUB by the plaintiffs of the Unocal litigation. I questioned Maung Maung whether he could use these funds without consulting others. The original statement is available for viewing.C. Maung Maung created an organization called “Burma Institute for Democracy and Development (BIDD) registered in Washington D. other CEC members have expressed their severe disappointment with Maung Maung’s management and expressed their intention to eliminate him when the opportunity arises. buying votes for his election at NCUB by giving grants to different organizations that vote in NCUB elections). He also made several transfers of funds to the account of his lady friend under the pretence of organizing activities. In 2009. Organizational integrity and unity: FTUB is dysfunctional and disunited.e. Many of the Central Executive Committee members backstab one another whenever the opportunity arises. I urge people to investigate the veracity of this statement. Ronnie Than Lwin was dumb founded. without any consultation with other FTUB members. He bluntly stated “Yes I can”. as he was unaware that CLC funded FTUB for internal organizing. so much so that Maung Maung is known as the ATM machine in Mae Sot.

3. I believe the concerns of my colleagues are well founded.Fear of Retribution: Although three former FTUB members have indicated their agreement with this letter they have refrained from co-signing out of fear for their lives. Zaw Tun Email: zawtun1970@gmail. Concerned parties should also hold FTUB and its executives accountable if any harm is caused to myself or any of the three other persons named in this letter. I have witnessed Maung Maung and several other CEC members make in absentia threats against people who have upset them. 2. 1. My sole reason for issuing this statement is because FTUB and its executives are doing a major disservice to the people of Burma. hypocrisy. the International Labour Organization and all national labor centers that are supporting FTUB financially and politically should review their policy to support FTUB with the current CEC members while it continues to misuse funds and govern in an unconstitutional manner. In conclusion. corruption and abuse of democratic and labor rights. The ITUC. I request help and assistance from all concerned parties to bring an immediate end to the FTUB’s injustice. The TUR/HR department of ITUC should investigate the unfair dismissals and suspensions of Shwe Sin Nyunt. I am prepared to testify the facts stated here and others under oath at any court of law or hearing. Cho Maung. Zaw Tun Secretary of Finance and Development (under suspension since 24th February 2010). For these reasons. The matter of Maung Maung’s apparent travel to Rangoon should be fully investigated and proper and immediate action taken. and myself. and these matters resolved according to ITUC the procedures and norms.com Phone: +61424167135 . ITUC (Asia-Pacific). These threats have included having people falsely arrested through his friends in local law enforcement agencies. In light of the facts presented in this letter I urge the following. Sincerely yours.

.

Kanda-Surugadai Chiyoda-Ku Tokyp Japan Te.   Federation of Trade Unions – Burma  nternational Contact Responsibilities & Rights Burma Office .Japan 101-0062 3F. Sohyo Kaikan 3-2-11.: 81 3 5296 3010 Fax: 81 3 5296 7903                                                                 .

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a. Therefore. Challenging to disrupt/cease the activities of the Federation. Also suspends the financial support receives as a Secretary. Central Executive Committee Members Board Members Secretariat Members In Charges (Departments) / In Charges (Committees) 24th February 2010 Subject : Temporary suspension of Zaw Tun from Secretary position for writing emails that discredits. I hereby notify that Zaw Tun has been temporarily suspended from the position of Finance and Development Secretary. Signed Maung Maung General Secretary Federation of Trade Unions Burma Cc : Office Copy Internal matter / Not to be distributed . As a result of the temporary suspension as the Secretary for breach of his rights as a Secretary. Forwarding the abovementioned emails to external persons and international organizations to discredit the Federation. 4. And as the General Secretary who appointed Zaw Tun. it is believed that Zaw Tun is inappropriate to continue in the capacity as Finance. 2. I informed the Central Executive Committee that I would no longer take responsibilities for Zaw Tun’s actions. c. Not allowed entry to the Federation’s office unless approved and to cease representing the Federation. Additionally. 3. 1. due to his health conditions.Internal matter / Not to be distributed 1. 2. b. As mentioned above. from this day forward (24th February 2010) it is notified that. as well as challenging the authority to disrupt the activities of the Federation as General Secretary can no longer take responsibility of his actions. The Central Executive Committee suspends him temporarily from the position of Secretary. Zaw Tun has written emails that discredit the Federation and forwarding them to external persons and found that. 3. Zaw Tun has breached his rights as a Secretary.

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