Three Burmese protestors charged with Procession Act 19

Kaung Mrat Naing (Maung Daw)
Narinjara,  July 18

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Three Burmese protesters, who led a demonstration against the use of Muslim community terminology (in Arakan State) in Yangon on 10 July were recently charged by the Bahan township police under the Procession Act 19.

The accused protesters namely Ko Khin Maung Lin alias  Ko Phoe Thar, Ko Win Ko Ko Latt and Ko Naung Lay were summoned to the township police station on 13 July and explained that they were charged under the peaceful demonstration act.

“We were summoned and explained by the police station about the case. But we requested the authority for permitting us to demonstrate peacefully. Now they have charged us as law breakers,” said Ko Khin Maung Lin, who applied for the permission to protest.

Even the police permitted for the demonstration which was scheduled to start from Bo Sein Man Park of Bahan township up to Haik Tai of Tarmway township, but the protesters began the demonstration at bronze great statute in eastern gate of Shwe Dagon Pagoda. So the police registered a case against the protesters.

Nearly 1000 protesters assembled at the eastern gate of Shwe Dagon Pagoda and marched towards Haik Tai near the Kyaik San playground in the former Myanmar capital city.

The police on duty tried to stop the protesters at Annawar Dhama Biman monastery, but following a short discussion with them, the police permitted the demonstrators to continue their march.

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The anger spread against the use of terminology ‘Muslim Community in Arakan State’ by the Burmese delegates in the United Nations Human Rights Assembly across Rakhine State.

The Burmese delegates on 23 June informed the UN Assembly that they would call the Muslim residents of Rakhine State as  Muslim Community in Arakan State.

Many people in Burma opposed the  version as they prefer to call Muslim residents as Bengali only. Protest demonstrations were more visible in Arakan as not less than 15 township residents joined in different rallies to formally lodge their opposition to the terminology.