Organizer of Pagoda Ceremony Prosecuted for Creating Crowd Amid Pandemic

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A local in Kyaikmayaw Township in Mon State is facing criminal charges after organizing a group of 150 people to carry an umbrella crown to a pagoda on March 30, despite orders to refrain from such gatherings due to the current outbreak of coronavirus.

Kyaikmayaw General Administrative Department (GAD) officer Kyaw Myint is prosecuting Zaw Min, who lives in Kyar Inn Chaung village in Kawt Kalane village tract, for violating a state order not to create public gatherings.

The village headman in Kyar Inn Chaung reportedly advised the villagers not to carry the umbrella crown one day earlier, but they went ahead with the ceremony.

“According to the decision of the Mon State government, I discussed this case with a legal officer. Then I prosecuted him. He will be charged with violating the disaster management law, article 30(a),” GAD officer Kyaw Myint said.

The procession on March 30 involved 20 vehicles, including two that carried loudspeakers. Those who drove these two cars will also face legal action under the village administration law, Kyaw Myint said.

The Mon State government released a local order on March 28, saying that breaking rules in relation to COVID-19 prevention would result in being charged with criminal behavior through violations of the anti-contagious disease law and the disaster management law.

The order is in effect until April 30.