Protesters call for the protection of the military-drafted 2008 Constitution.
Two hundred people marched across the Shan State capital of Taunggyi in an event organized by the National Security Social Network in support of the Tatmadaw on Wednesday.
The protesters were calling for the protection of the military-drafted 2008 Constitution, and called for any amendments to be “in line with the law,” particularly Article 261, which currently calls for the states’ chief ministers to be appointed by the President, not elected by regional parliaments.
“The objective of this campaign is to show our support for the Tatmadaw and to call to amend amending Article 261 in the 2008 Constitution,” U Ne Win Htwe, chairperson of the National Security Social Network, said. “The Tatmadaw already said that they agreed to amend some articles in the 2008 Constitution. The Tatmadaw has been protecting the 2008 Constitution. Therefore, we support the Tatmadaw.”
Marchers said that they want the chief ministers of their respective states and regions to be elected. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) put forward a bill to this end in February.
In the same month, the current National League for Democracy administration created a committee to draft constitutional amendments—it was opposed by military parliamentarians and the USDP.
People who participated in the demonstration gathered in front of the retired soldiers’ building near Mingon monastery and walked to the memorial state pillar in Taunggyi. Multiple speeches were also delivered at the event.
This is the third campaign in which people have shown support for the Tatmadaw in the area.