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A small number of Myanmar activists held two days of protests against the arrest of a pair of Myanmar migrants accused of murdering two tourists on southern Thailand’s Koh Tao island last month, as Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrived in Yangon on Friday for the second day of his first overseas trip since taking the helm of the military-ruled country.
A group of about 20 protesters led by the Movement for Democracy Current Force held a protest and prayer vigil at downtown Yangon’ s Sule Pagoda on Thursday evening, holding placards that urged the former general turned prime minister “to let the accused two Myanmar receive the benefit of the doubt.”
“We just want justice for them,” said Ba Myint, one of the leaders of Thursday’s protest. “We are not asking for their unconditional acquittal in the case.”
Another sign called for “the Myanmar President and Thai Prime Minister to protect the two Myanmar in accordance with the rule of law.”
A group led by Nay Myo Zin, a social activist, held a separate demonstration in front of nearby Mahabandoola Park on Friday morning. They were denied permission to protest in front of the Thai embassy and at Yangon International Airport after discussions with Yangon Division’s border security minister proved unsuccessful in securing the OK, Nay Myo Zin said.
Friday’s protest brought only a handful of activists out, with organizers saying turnout was affected by the short amount of time that they had secured for the event.