Friday, August 18, 2017

Duo demonstrates against restrictions at Education College

Two students staged a protest yesterday over what they claimed to be oppression at Sagaing Education College where students are only allowed handphone use for two days a week.

The student protesters claim that the school’s administration was restricting their handphone use for five days a week. Kyaw Ko Ko / The Myanmar TimesThe student protesters claim that the school’s administration was restricting their handphone use for five days a week. Kyaw Ko Ko / The Myanmar Times

The duo – Ko Zaw Ye Htut and Ko Thet Hnin Aung – protested in front of the Upper Myanmar branch of the Higher Education Department building in Mandalay.

They claimed that the school’s administration was “oppressive” by restricting their handphone use, and demanded for their right to own property to be respected.

“Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that everyone has the right to own property.

“But our school keeps our hand phones five days a week. We only get to use our phones for two days. It violates our human rights.

“What is the point of giving us access to WiFi when we can’t use our phones to search for information online?” the students asked.

Ko Zaw Ye Htut said this issue was brought to the college principal but the students’ request was ignored.

At the protest, the students chanted slogans that told the school administration to respect students’ rights, provide freedom of learning and to demonstrate democratic practices.

“How can we teach our next generation democracy when we ourselves are being educated under oppressive rules?

“We don’t even have the freedom to move around college grounds during our free time,” Ko Zaw Ye Htut explained why the protest was necessary.

Ko Thet Hnin Aung said they did not want an oppressive school administration that was militaristic.

A few people gathered to watch the protest which was interrupted by the police. Besides the duo, two members from the All Burma Students’ Union were also detained.

Police Major U Thet Win told reporters that protests could be conducted freely, but with the permission of the relevant authorities.

“Submit an application to the authorities for permission. All protests can be allowed as long as the authorities are notified ahead. We are a democratic country.

“But the students did it without seeking permission, so the police have to take action according to the law,” he said.


 

Translation by Zar Zar Soe