Government sought peaceful protest resolution: Union Information Minister

Union Minister for Information U Ye Htut.
Union Minister for Information U Ye Htut.

The forced dispersal of student protesters by police was “a sorrowful incident,” but the government tried as hard as it could to achieve a peaceful settlement in line with its policy, Union Minister for Information U Ye Htut said in an interview on Tuesday.
The union government had sought to “avoid undesirable incidents” since the start of demonstrations aimed at amending the national education law, U Ye Htut told Skynet Up to Date Channel following the breaking up of the demonstration on March 10 in Letpadan, about 90 miles north of Yangon.
While expressing sorrow about the situation, he denounced the idea of taking to the street to fight instead of seeking change through the legislative process or parliament.
“Despite requests for peaceful negotiations, student protestors tried to penetrate the police blockade and the police were legally obligated to disperse them,” the information minister said.
He said the student protestors’ decision to march to Yangon instead of choosing democratic or parliamentary processes was the cause of the conflict.
The information minister said the government’s handling of the protest will have no impact on democratic reform, stating that when demonstrators on Wall Street were removed by police, or when protesters in Ferguson were dispersed with the use of tanks, “nobody spoke of US democracy having backtracked.”
As for the elections scheduled for later this year, the information minister said “political stability, the rule of law and resolving differences in accordance with the state constitution are essential for the elections, and elections will be successful if the government is able to continue its efforts for the rule of law.”

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