Demonstrators Against Amending Constitution Gather In Lashio

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Out of town participants were ordered by leaders to join the protest, said a social worker.

Lashio Villagers
Photo by SHAN- Lashio Villagers

Protesters in support of not amending the controversial 2008 Constitution gathered in Lashio to show their support for the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) that is opposing amendments.

According to a social worker that asked to remain anonymous some of the out of town Shan participants were ordered by leaders to join the protest.

Lashio Villagers
Photo by SHAN- Lashio Villagers

“Villagers didn’t know why they were travelling to Lashio. They only knew they were going there,” the social worker said.

“I told them not to raise our Shan flag; it’s not the place to play (traditional Shan) long drums and gongs and use our flag. Many Bamar (Burmese) from northern Shan State also joined the protest.”

According to a female protester, everyone that took part received MMK 5,000 (about US $3.26) and a meal.

During the demonstration, participants walked from city hall to a football field in ward 12.

Last week, the National Security Network organized a similar protest in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State.

Lashio Villagers
Photo by SHAN- Lashio Villagers

Under the controversial 2008 Constitution, the Tatmadaw control matters related to war and peace. Its provisions allow Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Defense Services, to handpick ministers for Home, Defense, and Border Affairs.

Twenty-five percent of parliamentary seats are reserved for the military; the constitution can’t be amended with less than seventy-six percent of the parliament, making it virtually impossible without the military’s consent.

Efforts to amend the constitution have been blocked the Tatmadaw.

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