Govt Thanks Citizens for Not Supporting Nationalist Protests

By San Yamin Aung 7 August 2017

YANGON — The government on Sunday thanked Myanmar citizens for their stance against anti-government nationalist protesters, including monks, who staged sit-ins at religious sites in Yangon and Mandalay as well as in Taunggyi in Shan State last week.

A statement titled “Thank You Message to the People” released by the office of the State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday said: “People have not supported or participated in the demonstrations … We express heartfelt thanks to the people for their stance and conviction that serve the long-term interest of the State.”

Protesters camped near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and the Maha Muni Pagoda in Mandalay last week called for the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government to step down as it had failed to protect the country’s race and religion.

Hundreds of nationalist monks and laypersons gathered in Yangon and Mandalay from Wednesday last week while 10 protesting monks joined the Taunggyi camp on Friday.

Rather than attracting support, the protesters’ calls earned public condemnation for inflaming nationalism and anti-Muslim sentiment and threatening to derail the government’s reform process in the country.

The number of protesters in Mandalay and Yangon quickly dwindled to little more than a dozen at each site.

Following the government’s crackdown on a camp in Mandalay early morning on Saturday, protesters in Yangon and Taunggyi also shut down their camps.