Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Myitkyina authorities deny protest application

Local officials in Myitkyina last week refused an application for a peace demonstration in the Kachin State capital.

Daw Dwe Bu, a Kachin representative in the Pyithu Hluttaw, had applied for permission to hold the rally at the Manaw Field on January 10 – Kachin State Day – with up to 1000 people to call for an end to fighting between the Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Army.

“The Myitkyina township general administration department said it didn’t give permission to hold the protest because it coincided with a significant day for the state,” said Daw Dwe Bu, who is also secretary of a parliamentary committee for ethnic affairs and peace. “I believed we would get permission because we are working for peace.”

She said the township administrator told her another reason the application was rejected was that the proposed date for the peace protest coincided with a session of the Kachin State Hluttaw, which is meeting from January 7 to 14.

“I haven’t seen anything in the [peaceful protest] law that says you can’t get permission to hold a protest on a significant day. And in other countries demonstrations are regularly held when parliament is in session,” she said.

Rather than appeal the decision, she said she will take up the administrator’s suggestion to apply for permission on January 15.

“We will continue until peace is achieved. Everyone who loves peace can participate in the event,” she said.

The planned protest includes a prayer for peace at the Manaw Field. Participants will march to the centre of Myikyina holding signboards demanding peace and return to the field, she said.

Translated by Zar Zar Soe