Hurfom:Wearing Mon dress, three Mon children are arrested for swearing

HURFOM: 3 children were arrested for using fowl language, though sources dispute this account saying family claims the arrest was over the children’s wearing of Mon dress.
On May 16th 3 Mon children, all 13 years old, were sitting by the side of the road, in Kamawet Sub-Township, Mon state, when they were detained by 4 plain-clothes police officers Burmese police for swearing at them. After taking the children to Kamawet jail, one of the children, who was the child of the headman, went to his father to notified the other parents of the arrest. The parents arrived at the jail and had to pay the police department 5,000 kyat, the 4 arresting officers 10,000 kyat, and an additional 5,000 kyat to the headman.
May 16th was the 252nd anniversary of Mon Kingdom Fallen Day, a holiday marking the destruction of the Mon capitol, Hongsawatoi, by the Burmese Ruler Aungsaya, and the subsequent torture and genocide of the Mon people. As a celebration of remembrance and nationalism for the fallen Mon state, Mon people wear traditional Mon clothes.
Though the reason for the arrest by police was that the children were swearing, according to sources, parents claim that the arrest was because the children were wearing Mon clothes. A source also said that one of the families also claims that the local police intimidated the parents, forcing them to pay for their children’s release.
According to a source that had spoke to one of the families of a child that had been arrested, “The children were sitting on the bridge. At that time 4 local police, who were not wearing police uniforms, came and asked them ‘what are you doing here and why are you wearing the Mon uniform today?’ After that they arrested the children and took them to Kamawet jail until their parents arrived. The children were arrested at 7:00 am and released them at 10:00 am, at which time the parents arrived to pay and pick them up.”
Also according to a source who had spoken to one of the families, they claimed that one of the police said, “the government only allows Mons to ware Mon dress on Mon National Day. The children are braking the law, therefore we have the right to detain them.’ We had to pay 20,000 Kyat to take our children back home.”

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