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Myanmar Postpones Meeting With Student Protesters

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has postponed a planned meeting with student activists who are marching against proposed education reforms.

The protesters announced they will continue their long trek to Yangon after being told the government had concerns over who would represent students and advocacy groups.

“Because of a [National League for Democracy] [NLD] statement on Dr. Thein Lwin, they have questions on whether [he] can really represent the [National Network for Education Reform] [NNER]," said Phyo Phyo Aung, General Secretary of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions. "And they also have questions about student leaders who would be involved in the meeting and whether they can really represent student protesters."

The NLD recently released a statement saying Dr. Thein Lwin, who is the Central Committee member of the party, would not represent it at the meeting. Students have said they only invited him in his capacity as leader of the NNER, which was formed by education advocacy groups and some political parties, including the NLD.

A government statement says officials are currently busy with other matters and will not be available until February 12.

More than 1,000 students are marching across the country to Yangon to protest new legislation that will centralize control of universities in Myanmar. They also want more government spending on education as well as the freedom to organize teachers and students.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.