Friday, August 18, 2017

Nationalist protesters do not represent majority: government

The government has announced that the protesting monks in Yangon and Mandalay represent neither the majority of the Sangha mass nor the people’s wishes.

Nationalists protest at Kyay Thun Pagoda, near Shwedagon Pagoda’s east gate, on August 1. Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesNationalists protest at Kyay Thun Pagoda, near Shwedagon Pagoda’s east gate, on August 1. Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture released the statement on August 3 concerning the week-long protest of about 100 nationalists including some monks against the government, alleging those in power have neglected the national interest.

“The monks involved in this protest do not represent the majority of the Sangha mass and they have been manipulated by those who like to destabilise the state and do not want peace, these protesting monks do not represent the wish of the people,” according to the ministry’s statement.

The statement mentioned that the monks should protest inside their monastery compound if they wish to protect and preserve the Buddhist missionary, and they should not go on like this.

On the second day of the protest in front of Kyae Thon pagoda of the Shwedagon, some nationalist leader, lawyer U Aye Paing Thway, former MP Daw Khin Wine Kyi, U Thway Chon and some national activist monks joined the protest.

U Aye Paing Thway declined to comment on their action or on the government.

It was also attended by U Naing Ngan Lin, the Social Minister of Yangon Region, who said the meeting had not discussed on it.

“I’m just supporting the occasion so that the government should hear their voices. Especially the Religious Affairs minister should take the responsibilities on his actions,” said U Thawe Chon, a national activist writer.

U Thawe Chon is the former member of Ma Ba Tha and Buddha Charity foundation, but he resigned to form the new nationalist party, ‘135 Myo Chit Union Party’.