Kyauktada police station has registered a case against three persons including Chairwoman of Karen Women’s Union (KWU) Naw Ohn Hla for organizing a Karen Martyr’s Day celebration held in front of Mahabandoola Square in Sule Road, Yangon.
Yangon had earlier rejected an application to hold the event due to the name.
Over 100 people reportedly attended the August 12 event, during which the Karen flag was lowered to half mast, a message read, a wreath laid, and people then marched around the park.
Naw Ohn Hla said, “Kyauktada police station, station house officer called me yesterday August 15. And then I replied him I would rather be coming on August 21 as I had a plan for a journey but the station house officer told me that I must come. Then I replied him I would not come to his station on that day.”
A case was registered against her for holding the 69th Karen Martyr’s Day which falls on August 12 at the parking lot in Mahabandoola Square. Naw Ohn Hla told Mizzima that they had informed the authorities concerned in accordance with the ‘Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Marching in Procession Law’ but a case was registered against her for holding this event in the name of ‘Karen Martyr’s Day.
“The authorities told us to change the wording of our event rather than Karen Martyr’s Day but auntie (she) did not accept their offer. And then they registered a case against me now. I think this is mere pretext,” she added.
Ethnic Karen nationals observe this August 12 as Karen Martyr’s Day as their national hero and Karen revolution leader Saw Ba Oo Gyi was killed on August 12, 1950 by government troops.
There were certain prohibitions not to use the word ‘Karen Martyr’s Day’ in holding these events in Yangon and Ayeyarwady Regions also.