Image of Asia: Student march thwarted outside Yangon

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2015 8:29 AM
Image of Asia: Student march thwarted outside Yangon

In this photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe, a student protester lies on the floor of a monastery in Letpadan, Myanmar, after police stopped protesters from continuing their march toward Yangon, the country's largest city. The students have been rallying for a month in protest of an education law passed in September that puts all decisions about academic policy and curriculum in the hands of a body made up largely of government ministers. It bans students from forming unions and ignores calls for local languages to be used in instruction in ethnic states. Students say the law undermines the autonomy of universities, which were shuttered or rigidly controlled during five decades of military rule because the junta considered them hotbeds of discontent. The threat of an expanded protest is sensitive in part because students were at the forefront of pro-democracy protests in 1988 that were crushed by a bloody military crackdown.