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A body of student activists has announced that it plans to attend a parliamentary briefing session next week on amendments to the National Education Law, after cutting a similar meeting short last week.
The Committee for Democracy Education Movement (CDEM) walked out of a session in Naypyidaw on 5 March as part of a boycott by student groups in reaction to what they said was the ill treatment of protestors in Letpadan.
Conversely, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, or ABFSU, which has spearheaded this year’s nationwide protests calling for education reform, has announced it will not be attending next week’s meeting.
Of three groups invited by parliament to receive an update on the amendment bill last week, the ABFSU declined to attend; CDEM staged a symbolic walk-out; and the National Network for Education Reform, or NNER, stayed in attendance, though later said they were committed to dialogue with the government only when all student parties were present.
CDEM representatives say they will attend the rescheduled briefing on 16 March as they are choosing to follow a path of negotiation to avoid further protest action while 10th grade matriculation exams are being held, said CDEM member Zayar Lwin at a press conference on Wednesday.
The group have also vowed to negotiate with government ministers for the release of student protesters who were detained in violent scenes in Letpadan on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, an event was by the Free Funeral Service Society at its headquarters in Rangoon on Thursday morning to condemn the brutal crackdown on students and their supporters in Letpadan two days earlier, and to call for immediate release of students from custody in Tharawaddy Prison. The FFSS was joined by celebrities and representatives of civil society organisations.