Mandalay Division’s parliament convened an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss how individuals who have tattooed the map of Burma on the lower part of the body should be punished, as such an inking is a disgrace to the country’s image.
Thein Lwin, a parliamentarian of the divisional body, requested the government to pursue legal action against individuals who have the map of Burma inked on “inappropriate parts” of the body.
“Nowadays, we are seeing this trend of Burma map tattoos. The map of Burma, while an inanimate object, is a symbol of dignity and some individuals have it tattooed on inappropriate parts of the body, which is disgraceful,” Thein Lwin said during the session.
“I would like to know the government’s plan to prohibit disgracing the map of Burma by having it tattooed on inappropriate parts of the body, and I urge the government to enact laws if it is necessary,” he continued.
Thein Lwin did not specify the exact parts of the body that such a tattoo should be prohibited from appearing on.
Ye Aung Myint, Mandalay Division’s chief justice, threw his support behind Thein Lwin, and singled out the leg as a particularly offensive site for a Burma tattoo.
“Tattooing the map of Burma on the lower body, such as on the leg, can be deemed as defacing a part of the whole of a national symbol,” Ye Aung Myint said. “According to the State Seal Law, this offence can be punishable with up to three years in prison or offenders can face a fine of up to 300,000 kyat – or both.”
This emergency session of the divisional parliament comes a week after Mandalay Division’s Chan Aye Tharzan Township was rocked with communal violence for about two nights after hundreds began rioting based on a rumour that two Muslim teashop owners had raped a Buddhist woman. The riots left at least two dead and several others injured.