Ma Ba Tha Supporters Threaten to ‘Skin’ Reporters

By Moe Myint 30 December 2015

RANGOON — Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha and anti-Muslim firebrands greeted reporters at a protest on Tuesday with more inflammatory rhetoric and threats.

The protest, held at Bosein Mhan in Rangoon, was against the death sentence handed down to Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, two Thailand-based Burmese migrant workers accused of killing British backpackers David Miller and Hannah Witheridge on Koh Tao in September 2014.

Journalists from different media outlets were covering the rally, allegedly led by Ma Ba Tha and the Myanmar National Network, when Ma Ba Tha supporters pulled a boy onto the field for supposedly disturbing the protest. Several journalists were ready with their cameras.

“Beat the reporters, skin those guys,” one of the supporters said.

On Wednesday, several private newspapers reported that a minor quarrel erupted at the Ma Ba Tha demonstration and that one of the attendees attempted to attack journalists with a brick, though other rally participants were able to restrain him.

Ma Ba Tha supporters marched from Bosein Mhan to Shwedagon Pagoda, after which they marched to the Thai embassy in order to deliver an open letter.

Protests have flashed and flared in Rangoon since Friday, the day after a Koh Samui court sentenced Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo to death.