Lawi Weng
LETPADAN, Pegu Division — Students in Letpadan broke out into song and waved flags as news filtered through the group that their march to Rangoon would continue. After an agreement with the Pegu Division Border Affairs Minister Col. Thet Tun, the demonstrators will leave Letpadan after a weeklong standoff with authorities. “They told us there will be plainclothes security forces who will attempt to disturb us on the street, but the police will provide us with security,” said Dr. Thein Lwin, of the National Network for Education Reform, who met border affairs minister. Thein Lwin said that police would soon dismantle a blockade, allowing students to leave the monastery where they have resided since Mar 3. “We should respect law, and not make problems for the community while walking along the street. We will go soon,” student leader Ye Yint Kyaw told protesters. Student leaders used loudspeakers to thank locals who supported them during their time stranded with the town, before waving their hands and leading a rousing chorus of the chant “our cause will succeed”. [irrawaddy_gallery] Phyo Phyo Aung, one of the protest leaders, urged caution for the task left ahead of the demonstrators. “We reached an agreement to go, but we do not know what will happen next while we are walking on the street,” she said. “So we cannot say yet that our protest has been successful.” Other students have also expressed concerns over the lack of security during their exit from Letpadan, but local community leaders have assured them they will assist protesters with their passage through town.

Latest Photos