Actress Sues Model Over Facebook Posts Under Article 66(d)

By Thiha Toe 19 January 2017

RANGOON — The arrest of model Myo Ko Ko San on Tuesday—under Article 66(d) of Burma’s Telecommunications Law—marked an expansion of the controversial law into the entertainment sector.

Myanmar Academy Award-winning actress Wut Hmone Shwe Yee has filed a lawsuit against Myo Ko Ko San for defamation. Police took the model into custody at Rangoon International Airport on her return from a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, and she was being held at Yankin Township Police Station.

“Myo Ko Ko San told me that while she was collecting luggage at the airport, four persons in plainclothes came to her and said they had questions to ask. They took her away, and they turned off her phone,” said Shin Thant, who is Myo Ko Ko San’s friend and has been assisting with her legal case.

The 23-year-old transgender Myo Ko Ko San rose to fame after winning the title of Miss International Queen Myanmar 2015, a beauty pageant for gay and transgender people. The victory allowed Myo Ko Ko San to compete in the Miss International Queen 2015 pageant in Thailand.

On Wednesday, the Yankin Township Court ordered that Myo Ko Ko San be remanded for two weeks, during which time the police will investigate the defamation allegation.

Wut Hmone Shwe Yee has accused Myo Ko Ko San of being the administrator of the “Cele Cele Small” Facebook page, which posted the allegedly defamatory material, according to Shin Thant. Cele Cele Small is a Facebook page with over 800,000 likes that reveals inside information on the private lives of Burma’s celebrities and artists.

In Yankin Township Court, Myo Ko Ko San denied being the administrator of Cele Cele Small and questioned why police had the right to arrest her without strong evidence, Shin Thant told The Irrawaddy.

“Although she was accused of being the administrator of Cele Cele Small, that page is still sharing new posts after her arrest,” said Shin Thant.

Cele Cele Small shared new Facebook posts as recently as Thursday morning, The Irrawaddy observed. One of the posts said that Myo Ko Ko San is not an administrator of the page and has nothing to do with posts related to actress Wut Hmone Shwe Yee.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko