Nationalist Who Lead Closure of Ramadan Prayer Sites Arrested

By The Irrawaddy 10 June 2019

YANGON—Michael Kyaw Myint, a wanted nationalist who went into hiding last month, was arrested on Monday in Mandalay Region’s Wundwin Township, the Myanmar Police Force have announced.

He is being charged under Article 505 (b) of the Penal Code, together with Thiha Myo Naing, after they led a mob to force the shutdown of a number of temporary worship sites for Muslims in Yangon’s South Dagon Township on May 15. The Yangon regional government had given Muslim community leaders permission to use the buildings during their holy month of Ramadan.

In the announcement made on Monday, the Police Force stated that a responsible citizen informed them that Michael Kyaw Myint was in hiding at the home of his parents-in-law in Wundwin Township. It added they will move forward with pressing charges as per the law.

Deputy police chief of the Myanmar Police Force Police Maj-Gen Myo Swe Win said at a press conference in Naypyitaw on May 27 that the two had escaped to the protection of an armed group that have signed a peace agreement with the government.

But he said the police were able to trace [them] based on the number plate of Michael Kyaw Myint’s car which was spotted going through a toll gate on the Old Yangon-Mandalay Highway on the evening of May 17.

A police officer in Wundwin Police Station confirmed to The Irrawaddy that Michael Kyaw Myint was arrested on Monday afternoon.

Thiha Myo Naing handed himself in to police on June 6.