Ye Htut and Burmese leading media failed to address the offense of angry mobs during Quintana’s visit to Meikhtila

22nd August 2013
Photo: VOA Burmese

People protest U.N. human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana in Mektila, Burma, August 19, 2013. (VOA Burmese Service)

People protest U.N. human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana in Mektila, Burma, August 19, 2013. (VOA Burmese Service)

Burma President Thein Sein’s spokesman, Ye Htut did not address the angry mobs who actually broke curfew in Meikhtila during UN human rights envoy Tomas Quintana’s visit while he strongly denied Quintana’s statement which describes that the government failed to protect UN’s envoy.

The curfew has been imposed in Meikhtila since this year March because of deadly violence.

Burmese leading media, Eleven group has also reported that there were no such kind of mobs descended on Quintana’s car, kicking the windows and doors and shouting abuses by citing their reporters and other local witnesses. But as usual, they have not cited any local Muslim.

As same as Ye Htut, Eleven group has also failed to address the law-breaking of the angry protesters who broke curfew and gathered on the street at around 10pm.

“The fear that I felt during this incident, being left totally unprotected by the nearby police, gave me an insight into the fear residents would have felt when being chased down by violent mobs during the violence last March as police allegedly stood by as angry mobs beat, stabbed and burned to death some 43 people,” Mr Quintana said at Yangon International Airport at the end of 10-day trip on August 21.

Meikhtila’s town administrator, Tin Maung Soe told to Irrawaddy that those who had punched on the car were actually the police officers who were not in uniform as a signal to motorist for driving off. Irrawaddy contacted a local whose name is Demaw Soe who said, “If we have desire to hurt him (Quintana), he even has no way to return back”.

Though Eleven group and Ye Htut insisted that those people were in peaceful manner and they just wanted to hand over an open-letter to Quintana, on the contrary, the Myanmar Times reported that Mr Quintana flatly refuted that he had been given a letter.

Quintana said, “Nobody approached me, not even in a peaceful way, and nobody gave me a letter”.

VOA Burmese has promptly reported by contacting a local who said in regard to the curfew that – “We are also wondering about this. We have heard during previous days, there were several cases happened in which police seized some people who went out to the street after 10pm. Some are still even in custody. But yesterday (referred to the day when Quintana visited the town), the police did not order anything to the people who were still on the street after 10pm. It is like a situation on which they set free them intentionally.”

M-Media has learned that until now, no Burmese local media and government personnel have addressed the issue of angry mobs who broke curfew while they are reporting the case in which they describe Quintana’s claim is false.

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