Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blog #6: Myanmar Students & Activists Charged for Protest.

A mixture of activists and students too part in a protest against a new education bill in Myanmar. These protests began in March from Mandalay to Yangon opposing the bill that allow centralizes to take control of higher education. These students and activists were fighting for more power to be given to higher education institutions such as universities, the opportunity to teach ethnic minority languages and the right to form student unions. With negotiations with the authorities, the students were able to continue to march to Yangon, however the students became angered by the police's opposition once they had reached Letpadan, 90 miles north of Yangon causing them to try and break through police lines. Violence broke out leading up to more than 100 students being arrested. These students could face up to six years in jail. The President of Myanmar, Thein Sein, justifies the actions taken by police officers stating that if similar situations was to occur in any other Western countries, then there could've been gunfire and death.

Though stated in the article that the march was technically illegal because it was not officially approved of, there had been negotiations to allow the students and fellow activists to march. There has been no information stating that it was a violent protest, just students march from point A to point B to demonstrate their stand on Myanmar's new education bill. The police took it to themselves to enable such an outcome when the students could've have continued to march peacefully. A BBC correspondent states that despite the reforms in Myanmar after the end of military rule, this specific case involving these students has showed that the legal system as well as it's laws remain "dated and repressive". If Myanmar authorities did in fact negotiate with the students then violence should not have occurred. More just actions could have taken place yet the President of Myanmar chooses to say,  well, it could've been worse.

Rachel Ear
12:48 p.m

No comments: