Saturday, 6 September 2014

Myanmar rank-and-filers seek to oust union boss

An interesting case of rank-and-filers seeking to oust the union boss. ("Theatre workers demand resignation of national association boss," Myanmar Times, 4 September 2014.)
"About 180 theatre workers from upper Myanmar have staged a protest demanding the chair of the Myanmar Theatrical Association, Pantra U Mya Kyi, resign over recent comments in which he said the theatre industry doesn’t support scrapping section 436 of the constitution. Section 436 of the constitution gives the military a veto over constitutional change. A recent National League for Democracy petition calling for section 436 to be removed attracted nearly 5 million signatures, and a parliamentary committee is considering whether to propose a change to the section. The protest, which was held with permission from township authorities, took place in Mandalay’s Chan Aye Thar San township on August 28. “We demonstrated because we can’t accept what he said,” said U Sein Mottar, chair of the Mandalay Region Theatrical Association. “He disgraced the entire society of theatrical performers. We will keep demonstrating until he resigns.” A petition calling for Pantra U Mya Kyi’s resignation was signed by more than 1500 theatre workers from Mandalay, Sagaing and Magwe regions and Kachin, Shan and Kayar states, and then sent to Minister for Culture U Aye Myint Kyu, protest leaders said. “What he said, that the movement to amend section 436 doesn’t relate to theatrical performers, could mislead our audiences,” said U Pout Kyaing, secretary of the Mandalay Region branch of the association. Protest organisers allege that U Mya Kyi also staged a fundraiser without the agreement of regional theatre associations and personally dismissed members of township-level theatre associations. “Our Mandalay Region association didn’t know at all that the central association raised money at the Taungpyone Nat Festival in [Madaya] township,” U Pout Kyaing said. “He ought to shield theatre society if someone else is insulting our performers. But now he has even insulted us,” Ko Win Naung, a drama actor said."

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