PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Division — A police sub-lieutenant in Bogale Township was detained on Tuesday after his second wife filed a complaint under the Monogamy Law.
Police sub-lieutenant Nyi Nyi Aung dated a government teacher in the township. The two later eloped, after which she discovered he was already married and had children.
Police Capt. Ngwe Soe confirmed the detention at the township police station.
The teacher moved in with her parents after discovering her husband was already married. Nyi Nyi Aung continually showed up at her home and school, disturbing her and leading her to file the complaint, according to her neighbors.
“As soon as she found out he had a wife and kids, she moved in with her parents. But he would not accept the separation,” a neighbor told The Irrawaddy, on the condition of anonymity.
An investigation is ongoing. If the sub-lieutenant is found guilty, he will be punished according to the police code of conduct and be brought to court.
Designed and endorsed by nationalist monk group formerly known as the Association for Protection of Race and Religion or Ma Ba Tha—now called the Buddha Dhamma Charity Foundation—the legislative package known as the race and religion protection laws, which included the monogamy law, was approved by the Union Parliament on Aug. 31, 2015 under U Thein Sein’s administration.
The law targeted Muslim men as Ma Ba Tha falsely attributed Muslim polygamy to an increasing Muslim population in the country. In practice, the law has been applied to Buddhist men who are unfaithful to their wives.
The law allows a third party to file complaints against extramarital affairs and prescribes an imprisonment of up to seven years and/or a fine.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.