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Maj. Kyaw Swar Win signing a petition in favor of amending Burma’s Constitution,
Maj. Kyaw Swar Win has been in military custody since early April after he was photographed signing what appears to be a pro-amendment petition circulated by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
Yangon (dpa) – A military officer was sentenced to two years in prison for signing a petition calling for an end to the military grip on the constitution drafted by the former regime, local media reported Saturday.
A military court in central Mandalay region sentenced Army Major Kyaw Swar Win for violating regulations that bar military men from supporting political campaigns, he told reporters in front of the Obo prison.
He was arrested in April after a photo showing that he had signed the petition was spreading on social media, especially Facebook.
“It’s unfair to send a person in prison for supporting charter change as this man Kyaw Swar Win is a citizen even though he serves the country as a soldiers,” said Win Tin, a former army chief and now a leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).
More than 5 million people joined the signature campaign organized by the NLD and the Peace and Open Society headed by student leaders of 1988 uprising. They are demanding changes to the constitutional article that gives an effective veto to the military.
Amendments can only occur with the support of more than 75 per cent of the legislature. The constitution allocates 25 per cent of the seats for military personnel who are appointed without election.