Hunger strike for marchers proves just a ru­mour

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

RU­MOURS that ac­tivist Ko Aung Hmaing San will stage a hunger strike aimed at the re­lease of Sa­gaing Re­gion wood fac­tory worker pro­test­ers are not true.

“If I do some­thing, I will an­nounce it first,” the All Burma Fed­er­a­tion of Stu­dent Unions mem­ber told The Myan­mar Times on Au­gust 19. “And I will set a time frame for the protest … If I have a plan to hunger strike, I will of­fi­cially an­nounce it on my Face­book page.”

The Sa­gaing pro­test­ers’ sit­u­a­tion has not reached a level that war­rants a hunger strike, he said. He stands by the fac­tory work­ers, who are be­ing de­tained in Yame­thin Prison and fac­ing trial in Tatkon Town­ship Court, he said.

The fac­tory work­ers, who said they were wrongly fired, marched more than 185 miles (300 kilo­me­tres) over three weeks from Sa­gaing Re­gion to Nay Pyi Taw, where they were ar­rested in May.

“Cur­rently, I am standing by them to pro­vide help for them,” said Ko Aung Hmaing San. Pro­test­ers only took to the streets af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions failed, he added.

He said he would no longer protest, but seek res­o­lu­tion through ne­go­ti­a­tion. “We will talk with the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, par­lia­ment mem­bers and other or­gan­i­sa­tions if there is a case re­lated to pol­i­tics or ed­u­ca­tion,” he said. “If ne­go­ti­a­tion fails, we will con­sult each other about what we should do.”

Ko Aung Hmaing San was de­tained in Thayawady Prison un­der the U Thein Sein gov­ern­ment last year af­ter call­ing for ed­u­ca­tion re­form. He was re­leased af­ter be­ing granted amnesty this year. – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

Ko Aung Hmaing San stands out­side Tatkon Town­ship Court on Au­gust 19.

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