Fri 27 Jun 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
A Burmese woman was arrested on Wednesday evening after staging a solo protest at a busy downtown district near the popular Sule Pagoda, in the country’s former capital Rangoon.
The solo protestor, who shouted slogans for the release of detained Burmese opposition leader and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, was taken in by about 30 riot police personnel. She staged a protest for nearly 15 minutes near the Sule Pagoda on the junction of 32nd Street and Mahabandula Street.
Nyan Win, spokesperson of Burma’s main opposition party – the National League for Democracy – said while they were aware of the arrest of the solo protester, she is yet to be identified as to whether she is a member of the NLD.
“We heard that she staged a solo protestâ€¦ But we still don’t know whether she is an NLD member or not,” Nyan Win said.
A local resident, who witnessed the arrest of the solo protester said, the police, armed with batons and shields, came in two Dyna light trucks and took her away.
“She started protesting at about 4 p.m. First 10 riot police personnel reached the spot and later 20 more joined in. The woman protester was taken away even as traffic was coming to a halt and many bystanders were watching the unfolding scene,” the local added.
Similarly, Burmese authorities last year arrested another solo protester, Ohn Than, for staging a protest in front of the US embassy in Rangoon’s downtown Merchant Street.
Ohn Than, who is now imprisoned, shouted slogans like ‘Establish people’s representative government’, ‘Honour the people’s true verdict’, ‘Down with the military regimes’, ‘No to China and Russia’s veto power’.
Ohn Than was arrested at least six times earlier, for staging similar protests. But he was released every time after being kept a few months behind bars. However, after his last arrest on August 23, he was tried by the West District Court, which heard the case in the notorious Insein prison premises on April 2. He was sentenced to life imprisonment under charges of inciting disaffection towards the State.