Yesagyo Chin pastor’s court date set after repeated postponement
14 March 2014: Rev. Zun Hlei Sum, a Chin Christian pastor accused of constructing a religious building in Yesagyo town, said that the court has confirmed the date for him to stand trial as 21 March.
He told the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) that he was informed last Tuesday of the court date after previous completely unexplained postponements.
Head of the Yesagyo Township Administration Office Khaing Htun, who took the Chin pastor to court, will next week bring two witnesses, the head of the town municipal administration office and the ward administrator of the area where Sum lives, to give evidence.
The Chin pastor said that he was not happy about the postponements and how the court had dealt with the situation, and that he would fight against the allegations as he hadn’t violated any laws.
Sum said that Khaing Htun and he turned up at court last Tuesday and had a brief conversation, and that the Yesagyo Township Court told them about the next court date.
He added that it was the fourth time the date had been postponed during February and March this year without any reasons given and that he came to court only to learn that it had been pushed back.
“When I arrived at court, I had to wait for hours just to get informed that the date had been postponed. Sometimes, the reason given was that the plaintiff was busy and hence didn’t turn up,” added Sum.
“Last week, I got to court at 10am and Khaing Htun was not there. The judge had someone call for him but he didn’t come. After three hours, the judge told me to come back on 11 March.”
Sum received the first official letter of this year, signed by Aung Htway, a judge of the Yesagyo Township Court, on 13 February to appear in court on 17 February.
According to the official documents of October 2012, relevant authorities including health and fire brigade departments had granted the Chin pastor permission to construct a building in his compound.
Rev. Zun Hlei Sum has been ordered to stop construction following an accusation made by Buddhist monks and Yesagyo residents on the basis that he would probably use his building upon completion for religious purposes.
Chinland Guardian is not able to reach authorities for comment.
The case continues.#