Monk protests demand resignation of government


YANGON – A small band of demonstrators blocking the gates of Kyay Thun Pagoda to demand the government’s resignation have been ordered to disperse by police, as the protest enters its second day.

Around 70 monks and supporting laity blockaded the pagoda, near the eastern entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda, at 3pm on Thursday, vowing to continue their protest until the government stepped down. Numbers had dwindled to less than 30 by the evening.

According to pamphlets printed by the group, the protestors have accused the National League for Democracy of leading an ‘authoritarian’ government that was damaging to the country’s Buddhist majority, and favoured ‘Bengalis’ — a reference to the Rohingya community in Rakhine State — over the country’s officially recognised ethnic races.

The pamphlets also claim the government “thinks highly of foreign academics” and neglects the work of their local counterparts, and has been unable to carry out urgent development tasks since the NLD took office in March 2016.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

A police contingent ordered the group to disperse late on Thursday evening, but did not take action to enforce the order.

A similar protest by the same group is also underway in Mandalay.

The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, the country’s supreme monastic authority, has been instructed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture to resolve the protests.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar