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Some 500 students from across Burma began an emergency meeting in Rangoon on Wednesday to oppose the National Education Bill passed recently by President Thein Sein despite widespread objections from student and teaching bodies. The meeting continued on Thursday.
Ye Yint Kyaw, spokesperson and organiser of the event, hosted at the charity group Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS) headquarters in Rangoon, said, “We organised the event to point out and discuss oversights, the pros and cons of the National Education Bill, and to inform students of these issues.”
The meeting was joined by more than 500 students from across the country including Kachin and Karenni states. The meeting was also attended by 88 Generation Peace and Open Society leader Min Ko Naing.
Organisers reported that local police interrupted the conference at one point to question whether the hosts had acquired official permission to stage the meeting, and took names and details of those involved.
Kyaw Thu, a former actor and film director who runs the FFSS, said: “Curtailing an event like this is akin to restricting youths from their future – young people must be allowed the freedom to think and organise.
“Hosting the event was not in violation of the law. Imposing too many restrictions will lead students to vent their anger in other ways. If they choose the wrong path, there could be suffering in our country.”