Hundreds Demonstrate in Mawlamyine Against Court Ruling Over Religious Land Plot

Locals call for a nun education center to be re-opened after the land plot on which it was located was sold.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Nearly 500 people from Zing Kyeik in Mon State demonstrated in the capital of Mawlamyine on Tuesday in protest of a court decision in a land dispute.

In June, state courts dismissed a case brought forward regarding the land on which the Thudhammawaddy nun education center was located. Demonstration leader U Win Naing said that the land on which the center was located was donated privately. However, he alleged that a woman named Daw Thanda Soe—the daughter of a late abbot—demolished the center and reclaimed ownership of the land, selling it and upsetting locals. Following these actions, a case was brought to court to regain control of the land for religious purposes so that the center could be re-opened.

Holding vinyl placards, demonstrators walked from the Mawlamyine Thanlwin Garden to the Mon State Central Court, calling for action to be taken against judges, lawyers, and those who sold the plot. They demanded that the nun education center be re-opened.

“The state court dismissed this case without investigating,” U Win Naing alleged.

Daw Kyi Kyi Naing, Mon State’s legal affairs director, said that the court made its decision after an investigation into both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ claims.

“The case is invalid,” she said. “If [the plaintiffs] want to send another proposal with valid information and data, the court will accept it and investigate it. The court didn’t approach this as a no-win case. The court dismissed the case because of invalid information,” Daw Kyi Kyi Naing explained.

Daw Khin Saw Thinn, U Win Naing, and Daw Hnin Wai Naing prosecuted Daw Thanda Soe and Daw Khin Mar Cho at Thaton District Court in 2017 in a civil lawsuit. They called on the court to declare they were the donors of the land plot used by Thudhammawaddy nun education center, and asked that Daw Thanda Soe transfer the land plot to its rightful owners.

Thaton District Court accepted the case but Daw Thanda Soe and Daw Khin Mar Cho transferred the case to the state court, which dismissed it on June 6 of this year, citing civil law statutes.