Protest against Koh Tao verdict closes Thai embassy

By HTUN KHAING | FRONTIER

YANGON — A nationalist protest outside the Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon went ahead as planned Monday, as demonstrators prayed for the release of two Myanmar migrant workers sentenced to death in Thailand.

The consular section of the embassy was briefly closed by the protest, blocking several Myanmar citizens seeking visas to work in Thailand.

Protestors demanded the release of Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, Myanmar citizens convicted of the murder of two British backpackers on the resort island of Koh Tao, following a controversial 2015 trial.

Both men had an appeal against their death sentences denied by a court last month.

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Lasting an hour on Monday afternoon, a small group of monks laid out stools in front of the embassy and prayed for the release of the pair.

Monday’s protest was the second time in a month a protest was staged outside the Thai embassy.

In February, dozens of monks assembled outside the embassy gates to protest the police siege of Bangkok’s Wat Dhammakaya temple, which has provided financial aid and support to the Ma Ba Tha Buddhist nationalist group in Myanmar in recent years.

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