Graffiti Protesters Allowed to Rejoin Classes after University Backflip

By Zarni Mann 28 December 2015

MANDALAY — The administration of Yadanabon University in Mandalay has relented and allowed three students recently released from prison to continue their education after they were informed last week they would be barred from reenrollment.

Aung San Oo, now in the final year of his physics course, was one of three students to spend six months in jail after spray-painting slogans calling for the resignation of the government and the release of those detained after the crackdown on students protesting the National Education Law. He told The Irrawaddy on Monday that he, Jit Tu and Nyan Lin Htet had now received letters giving them permission to return to the Yadanabon campus.

“The professors, deans and rectors held a meeting and said they will allow us to resume our classes. We received official letters today,” he said.

The three men had urged university authorities to withdraw their expulsion, after they were informed of the decision by a university registrar on Thursday.

“If we did not speak up for our rights, we would not be allowed to continue our studies. We do not need to thank anyone, because we’ve served our prison term and we have a right to education,” Aung San Oo said.

All three men served a six-month prison sentence in Mandalay’s Obo Prison after their July arrests. Nai Ye Wai, a fellow protester and the president of the Yadanabon University Student Union, is serving an additional three months and it is currently unknown whether he will be allowed to return to his classes.

Another student, Ye Yint Paing Hmu, was arrested on Dec. 25 for his alleged role in the June protests and told friends he is being held in Obo Prison.