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Mawlamyine man stages protest over government silence

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Standing beside a large sign he erected near the Myoma Jetty on Mawlamyine’s (Moulmein’s) Strand Road yesterday [August 14], a lone protester demanded that the Mon State government respond to his suggestions for a development plan for the state.

The protester, Ko Win Ko Myo, who is blind, says that he submitted a paper to the Mon State cabinet and Hluttaw (parliament) detailing his ideas for a comprehensive development plan for the state. In the year since he submitted the paper, entitled “Mon State, the World Standard,” he has not received a response from either.

Solitary protester Ko Win Ko Myo (Photo: MNA)
Wearing a broad sun hat, Ko Win Ko Myo stood beside a large poster bearing protest slogans in Burmese and English. The slogans demanded that the government read and discuss his paper, that it respect human rights and dignity, and that the public not be treated like toys.

“In my paper, I discussed many different topics, like city planning for Mawlamyine, business plans, etc. That’s what I sent them. I also requested that they allow me to present them my ideas but it’s been over a year and I haven’t received a response. It seems like they don’t acknowledge it,” Ko Win Ko Myo said.

Daw Tin Ei, the speaker of the Mon State Hluttaw, said that the body was not ignoring the paper because of Ko Win Ko Myo’s disability, and would address it soon.

“The Hluttaw has not yet invited him to speak nor met him, but we will read his paper and discuss it. The Hluttaw will then urge the cabinet to work on implementing “Mon State, the World Standard,” she said.

Speaking to reporters, Ko Win Ko Myo said that his paper is not intended only for Mon State but for the whole country. And includes such topics as agriculture and livestock, tourism, business, education, cultural preservation, and rule of law.

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