ST. PAUL (March 21, 2015) — Democracy activists making up several ethnic refugee communities from Burma, will together hold a rally on Sunday, March 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155. The rally will be to protest the Myanmar government’s rough handling and jailing of students advocating for education law reforms.
Event organizer Tun Tun, said the Burmese authorities and the army are responsible for the crackdown that took place in Letpadan city in Burma on March 10, 2015. The student protest marches would congregate in the capital of Yangon.
“The students and supporters were hit by thugs deployed by the authorities; some hit with staffs while being hands locked by mobilized thugs some in uniform and some in murphy, held under detention and made unable to attend the meeting they were supposed to be leading or taking part.
“Nation-wide student protests took place across Burma because of the unpopular education law, which came into effect at the end of last year. The student bodies gave the government two months to amend the law as proposed or face nation-wide protests. As there was no response after the deadline students started the protests.
“Student groups in Burma and Members of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER), former and current citizens of Burma worldwide have voiced criticisms on the Burmese government’s high-handed approach to the current education reform movement in Burma.
“The crackdown happened because the Burmese (Myanmar) government officials and the Ministry of Education abused power.
“Pictures taken at the rallies show some people posing as students throwing water cans at the police. Such people as technically placed by the government’s intelligence force as they have always done through-out their decades of reign to find a pretext to manhandle the situation.
“The people they use to hit the students at the initial stage of rough handling are probably not those trained for such situations by the European Union; they were used as paid hitter thugs cum human buffers probably told to hit first and fend for themselves. The current meeting is totally incomplete because of the absence of student representatives who after being hit, man-handled and are being detained by the government in a crackdown on protests on 10 March 2015.
“This briefing, and the amendment bill as a whole, only happened because the students decided to demonstrate.
• We want to point out the horrific crimes being committed by the Burmese government and army in Burma recently
• We want to point out that the military deployed their spies, thugs and lackeys to walk and mix with the students and throw water cans at the police giving the police the pretext to retaliate with force.
• We want to point out that the Students follow the Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s principle of peaceful non- violent protests.
• We want to point out that it is the military thugs who used unnecessary force
“Students have been beaten up, detained and mistreated. This is very inappropriate and shows that the former military government is sliding back by using thug force on innocent students. The military rulers, who have been threatened to go in the dockets of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide have shown their true girt again and the world should pressure the Burmese military (we Burmese see them as thus though most of them have given up their uniforms for civilian attire) to stop all atrocities on innocent protesters and listen to the voice of the people.
“They are back-tracking for the simple reason that they do not want to step down from the government as they would certainly lose the elections this year if they do not resort to rough handling threat, cheating and such activities.
“We urge the government of Burma (Myanmar) to:
• meet the demands of the student groups and NNER and amend the Education . Their demands are the voice of the students, teachers, parents and supporters.
• stop manipulating the NNER
• stop giving army officers, soldiers and their lackeys the license to hit and silence unarmed, non-violent free speech advocates.
“We urge the Government of President Barack Obama and all State Legislators of Minnesota to take all measures to press the Government of Burma:
• to respect freedom of assembly
• to release the students and supporters immediately and unconditionally
• to amend the Education Law as proposed by the NNER