Disabled Myanmar student loses flat after education protest

Disabled Myanmar student loses flat after education protest
Disabled student Su Pon Chit (L)

Authorities have evicted a disabled student from her flat, which she insists is due to her participation in protests against the National Education Law.

The previous government provided her with room number 203 of the Shwegondine Child Care Centre in Bahan Township, said Su Pon Chit, who was part of the Ayeyawady column of students who planned to march to Yangon last month in protest against the education law.

"Under the previous government, I was given the flat to live in permanently," she said. "I thought I would be allowed to live there until I finished my studies, even if it is not for good. I sent a complaint to the Lower House speaker, but have not received any reply.

"I received (another) letter two days after I participated in the Ayeyawady protest column last month. I left (the flat) on March 28 because I had exams on March 31."

The Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Ministry sent her letters in December and February, informing her that she was to leave the flat by March 31. Authorities explained that the room was offered to staff of the ministry.

"Su Pon Chit is not a civil servant," said Tin Zaw Moe, head of Yangon Region Social Welfare Department. "She was allowed to live in the flat until she completed her studies so that she as a disabled person could live comfortably. Now, the flat has been taken back because she finished her degree."

The flat was taken back in order to provide accommodation for needy civil servants, he added.

However, Su Pon Chit said she is still going to university and now has to come to Yangon from Nyaungdon Township in Ayeyawady Region on a daily basis to attend her classes.

She is a central executive member of Myanmar Disabled Association and was awarded a scholarship to attend school in Australia. She has a master's degree in policy affairs from Sidney University.

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