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