Kokang martial law responsibilities outlined

Colonel Saw Myint Oo has been appointed to oversee all executive functions in Kokang while the region is under martial law, the office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services has announced.

The government declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law on Tuesday, and on Wednesday detailed how Saw Myint Oo will administer the region while martial law is in effect for the next three months. President Thein Sein put the military in charge during this period after an escalation of fighting between ethnic-minority rebels and the army.

Wednesday's martial law order states that Saw Myint Oo will monitor activity in the war zones and assign war zone administrators within the Kokang region, with the approval of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services. The administrators will be responsible for watching over security, social activity, trading and transportation under martial law.

Saw Myint Oo can form a military administration advisory and must report to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.

The colonel also takes on responsibility for court rulings in accordance with existing laws, although the Martial Court can also rule on criminal cases. Martial Court verdicts cannot be appealed.

Also, capital punishment sentences must be approved by the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services. Appeals of death sentences rendered by the Martial Court must be done through application to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services within fifteen days of the Martial Court verdict. Saw Myint Oo is responsible for approval of long-term and unlimited imprisonment.