Burmese protest in Dhaka

Tasneem Khalil

Tasneem Khalil

[Dhaka Correspondent] A group of Myanmar refugees, including monks, staged a peaceful demonstration near the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka Tuesday, protesting against the killing of many demonstrators by the military junta and demanding restoration of democracy in the country which has been under army rule for a long time.

Protesters, during their hour-long demonstration that began at 11 AM, carried placards and banners and chanted slogans against General Than Shew, terming him “murderer of innocent people.” They urged Myanmar’s soldiers not to point their guns at innocent people and shoulder the responsibility of protecting the motherland.

Scores of policemen were deployed around the embassy in the Gulshan diplomatic zone to maintain order, and the police stopped the protesters from going to the embassy. However, some of them were allowed to hand over a protest note to the embassy’s officials. Around 50 protesters also gathered beside the Australian High Commission.

In their protest note, the demonstrators demanded that the junta send the troops back to the barracks, release political prisoners, form an interim government and compensate the families of the murdered monks and other protesters. They also demanded resignation of the Burmese ambassadors to Bangladesh, Japan, the USA, China, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Korea and other countries.

May Da Tha Ra, a Rakhain monk now in exile in Bangladesh, criticized the Myanmar government, saying that the current regime has no right to stay in power after killing innocent people. “We do not hear of any such anti-religious government like that in Myanmar. They killed and arrested monks and common people. We want the junta’s immediate resignation,” he told newsmen. He also demanded release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

Condemning the killing of monks and general people, Saw Mra Raza Linn, president of Rakhain Women’s Council, observed that there was no rule of law in her country under the military regime, “We want this government to step down as it is destroying the Burmese economy, raping women and killing innocent people. We want restoration of democracy and human rights.

The demonstration was organized under the banner of Democratic Forces from Rakhain State, Myanmar. It represents the United Front of Sangha, Rakhain Women’s Union, Independent Force of Arakan, All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress, Rakhain Environment and Human Rights Watch, Arakan Community Council and Shwe Gas Movement, Opposition Force of Burma, Narinjara News Agency, Shwe Pray, Rakhain News Agency, Gisspa News Agency and many individuals.