Restaurant Staff Detained After Myanmar Minister’s Son Involved in Brawl

By The Irrawaddy 9 June 2021

A restaurant owner in Naypyitaw and many others were detained after the son of Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Soe Htut had a brawl at the restaurant on Monday.

The brawl reportedly started after three young men dining at the Excellent Restaurant in Zabuthiri Township teased two women at another table who were dining with Sithu Htut, the minister’s son, and three other men.

Sithu Htut reportedly threw bottles and glasses at the men. Two left and the third ran into the kitchen. Sithu Htut chased and beat him, according to a source.

“The staff intervened and asked him to stop. Sithu Htut and his friends started punching the staff, who did not know who he was and defended themselves,” said the source.

Around 20 police vehicles surrounded the restaurant after one of Sithu Htut’s friends made a phone call. There were already plainclothes police in the restaurant protecting Sithu Htut.

The staff were forced to squat while the police searched the building and seized their phones.

Numerous people, including the wives of the owner and bartender and their two infants, were taken into custody.

Seventeen female detainees were released on Tuesday morning and the man who was beaten in the kitchen was also freed on Tuesday.

The owner and 15 staff, including a woman, remain in detention.

“The restaurant owner arrived after the brawl and asked what happened. Staff did not know Sithu Htut is a minister’s son,” said a source.

A lawyer hired for the detainees has not been allowed to see them.

“Things got rough that night. Things have returned to the military era. The rank of your parents counts now,” said a Tharyargone ward resident.

Sithu Htut is the youngest of Lt-Gen Soe Htut’s three sons and reportedly owns construction and tourism companies.

Lt-Gen Soe Htut is said to be a confidant of coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and is a member of the regime’s governing body, the State Administrative Council.

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