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A woman from Maubin Township was arrested on Monday night over a Facebook post that compared the colour of Aung San Suu Kyi’s htamein (traditional skirt) to that of the recently introduced military uniforms.
Chaw Sandi Htun, 25, was charged under Section 34(d) of the 2004 Electronic Transactions Law*, over a post titled “Why not wear pieces of her htamein as bandanas if you love her so much?”
Among superstitious Burmese, associations are commonly made between ladies’ skirts and undergarments and men’s virility. It is believed by some that if a man makes contact with women’s garments he may lose his power.
In the wake of the Saffron Revolution 2007, a ‘Panty Power Campaign’ launched by a women’s group in Thailand prompted thousands of women around the world to send their panties to Burmese embassies in an insulting gesture of protest against the brutal military crackdown.
The post included a photo of the National League for Democracy leader delivering a speech beside another photo of Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing addressing the military.
Section 34(d) prohibits defamation and spreading misinformation about organisations on the Internet.
Chaw Sandi Htun was reportedly arrested at a meditation centre with her mother and taken by about 20 police to Maubin Township police station where she has been detained.
Chaw Sandi Htun is due to appear in court on 27 October.
*Editor’s note, 15 October 2015: The ‘2004 Electronic Transactions Law’ was incorrectly referred to as the ‘Electronic Communications Law’. This has been amended.