YANGON, Myanmar (Myanmar Times) — Buddhist nationalists have applied for permission to hold a protest in Yangon against the appointment of Henry Van Thio, an ethnic Chin and a Christian, as vice president.
The nomination of the hitherto unknown National League for Democracy MP came as a surprise to most last week, but the decision was widely welcomed by ethnic minority groups and political commentators as a step in the direction of national reconciliation. Extreme nationalist Buddhists, who have been advocating the protection of “race and religion”, have however not accepted the NLD leader’s choice.
“We can’t accept that someone from another religion has been appointed vice president. We won’t be silent. We will request in a democratic manner for him to be taken off [the position],” said U Agga Dhamma, founder of the Buddha Goenyi protection organization, which was established in 2012 and is based in a village in Hmawbi township near Yangon.