Mon 4 Feb 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
National League for Democracy members in Mandalay cancelled a planned protest against official from their party after police did not approve their original application.The protest was designed to show their anger at the organisation of ward assemblies and those in the party who they described as “worse than dictators” but police said it could only go ahead if they changed the date and location, reduced the number of participants by 95 percent and keep it to just one hour.
Members from Mandalay’s Pyigyitagun township planned to demonstrate before the party’s Mandalay Region office, along with disgruntled members from Mandalay’s Myingyan, Tada Oo and Natogyi townships, in the last week of January.
“[On January 26] officials from Chan Aye Thar San township police station confirmed the protest could be held on January 28. They gave us permission to protest for just one hour on that day even though we asked for three days,” U Ko Ko Aung, an NLD member from Pyigyitagun township said at a press conference on January 29 at the press conference.
“They also did not let us use the place we wanted … they just allowed 100 people from the five townships in Mandalay district [to take part] but we wanted to be allowed to have more than 2000 members from different townships. We discussed those issues and then decided to cancel the protest,” he said.
He said holding a protest with only 100 people would be like organising “a small chinlone (cane ball) performance in a village” and have trivialised the issue of the party’s upcoming national assembly. “We have cancelled the protest but that in no way means that we are satisfied with the top officials in the party,” U Ko Ko Aung added.
U Saw Win from Taguntine ward in Pyigyitagun township added that although the protest had been abandoned, “God will punish those in the party who are dishonest.”
Ko Phyo Han from Myingyan township said that other NLD members from the Mandalay Region town had planned to participate in the Mandalay protest.
“We also demonstrated in Myingyan township on January 24 and we are satisfied that we were able to show that we are not pleased about the unfair ward assemblies,” Ko Phyo Han said.