NLD official in a pickle over photo comment
Already in the midst of a scandal, a Pyin Oo Lwin township office head may soon find himself in legal trouble as well after he posted sexist remarks on a Facebook photo of his colleague and a reporter.
A NATIONAL League for Democracy official from Pyin Oo Lwin could face legal action after comments he made online regarding two local women caused significant offence and a minor scandal.
U Thein Zaw, a township-level executive and treasurer, reportedly commented on a group photo featuring an NLD colleague and a DVB reporter.
“He wrote that he will send the women in the photo to a goodar,” said NLD member Daw Cherry Win. “I did not know the meaning of goodar at first. Later I learned it means brothel,” she said, confirming that she was now seeking legal advice on the matter.
U Thein Zaw says he regrets any offence caused and insists the post was meant in good fun.
“I teased them like that with a very friendly manner. I used to tease others at our office,” he told The Myanmar Times yesterday.
But Daw Cherry Win said the comments are no laughing matter, and the spat is the talk of the town.
“The dignity of the women in this photo has been damaged … Everyone in the city is talking about it,” she said.
“Everyone asks us whether we will respond or not … People said his words demean women and degrade the dignity of women,” said Daw Cho Cho Aye, a village NLD executive and one of the subjects of U Thein Zaw’s barbed remark.
Daw Cho Cho Aye said it is one thing to make such comments in person, but that posting them online was beyond the pale.
“I wouldn’t be angry if I had been verbally teased at the office, because all staff treat each other like their own sisters and brothers. It is very appalling that he wrote on online.”
She said she would not pursue legal action herself, for the sake of harmony in the office.
“We have to do work together in the future. If other people want to sue him, I will help them as a witness,” she said.
U Thein Zaw said he feels the whole ordeal has been blown out of proportion.
“I already apologised to them online. This small matter is made bigger because people keep adding fuel to the flames,” he said, adding that he had already learned a valuable lesson.
“I myself have a brusque manner. I won’t tease like that again,” he said.
Several online commentators in Myanmar have recently found themselves serving time for social media remarks. Jokesters poking fun at the commander-in-chief, including a woman who made comparisons between his uniform and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s htamein during last year’s election campaign season, resulted in the Facebook poster’s imprisonment with hard labour on a defamation charge.
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar