When public de­bate heats up Mizzima re­views the land­scape of opin­ion and prints the most poignant quotes in favour and against.

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS - (Mizzima ac­knowl­edge swith thanks per­mis­sion from the Demo­cratic Voice of Burma to use com­ments made dur­ing its dis­cus­sion on whether or not riot con­trol mea­sures used re­cently at Yan­gon and Let­padan ex­ceeded the law, broad­cast on March 21).

Was the use of force by riot po­lice at Let­padan law­ful?

As a by­stander, I would like to say that the ob­jec­tive of the stu­dents changed. Their ini­tial ob­jec­tive, to amend the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Law, was re­placed by a de­ter­mi­na­tion to march to Yan­gon. The gov­ern­ment side made “si­lent at­tacks” by pub­lish­ing only its pro­pa­ganda in state-run me­dia. That’s why ten­sion in­creased.

U K. Zaw (writer, colum­nist)

The only weapon avail­able to stu­dents was to protest. They did not change their minds about their ob­jec­tive. It was not pos­si­ble for the 15 stu­dent com­mit­tee mem­bers who had to at­tend meet­ings to im­me­di­ately stop protests by stu­dents through­out the whole coun­try.

Dr Nyo Nyo Thin (In­de­pen­dent MP, Yan­gon Re­gion As­sem­bly)

The sit­u­a­tion ended in fail­ure for both the gov­ern­ment and the stu­dents. The stu­dents suf­fered a crush­ing de­feat. The gov­ern­ment suf­fered an ag­o­nis­ing de­feat.

U Aung Soe Oo (High Court lawyer)

What hap­pened at Let­padan is an ab­scess on the whole na­tion.

U K. Zaw

I don’t agree. In Myan­mar, which is in dark­ness, the stu­dents’ protest is a lamp. It is a flam­ing torch.

U Nay Win (fa­ther of de­tained protest leader Ma Phyo Phyo Aung)

We live in Yan­gon. My par­ents live in Yan­gon. Why can’t we march into Yan­gon?

Ei Pone (All Burma Fed­er­a­tion of Stu­dent Unions)

Ac­cord­ing to sec­tions 127 and 128 [of the Pe­nal Code], the po­lice can en­list im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance from five un­armed males [to dis­perse crowds]. But the law does not pro­vide for such as­sis­tance to be ar­ranged in ad­vance.

U Aung Soe Oo

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