Myanmar Doctor Jailed for Criticizing Buddhist Monks Opposing Sex Education in Schools

Dr Kyaw Win Thant was arrested in May after he apologized for his social media ranting to the Buddhist monks

A Myanmar doctor was sentenced to jail after he criticized Buddhist monks for objecting to sex education to be taught as a subject in the local schools. The court in Mandalay's Chanayetharzan township sentenced Dr. Kyaw Win Thant to 21 months in jail.

In most of the schools in Myanmar, sex education is not taught as a separate subject. Despite being a widely discussed topic on social media, sex education is still considered a taboo in the country whose morals are largely influenced by the Buddhist monks, reported Reuters.

Later, speaking to the reporters, Court spokesman Kyaw Myo Win said: "He feels regretful and admitted his crime so the court gave this decision." He also revealed that Thant did not have a lawyer and was not available for comment. Confirming the sentencing, a senior official from Mandalay district religious affairs department told Reuters: "We filed the lawsuit because he violated the law."

Doctor Was Arrested for Insulting and Defaming Religion

Dr Kyaw Win Thant
Dr Kyaw Win Thant was arrested from the Koe Na Win Monastery in Meiktila on May 19. Twitter

Thant, the 31-year-old doctor, was arrested in May after he underwent a formal Buddhist apology ritual, for his comments, at the Koe Na Win Monastery in Meiktila. The Irrawaddy reported that Thant was charged under various sections of the Myanmar Penal Code for insulting, defaming, and hurting another's religion. Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed against the erring doctor by Mandalay's Religious Affairs Officer, U Tin Maung Aye.

"The court heard testimony from the plaintiff and five witnesses for the prosecution, and Kyaw Win Thant admitted that he posted the criticism on Facebook, so the court found him guilty and sentenced him to one year and nine months in prison," U Kyaw Myo Win, a spokesperson for Chanayetharzan Township Court, was quoted by the outlet.

Monks Opposing Sex Education Know Nothing: Thant

Criticizing the Buddhist monks in a series of Facebook posts, now deleted, Thant said that the monks opposing planned introduction of a new sex education curriculum are Myanmar high schools, know nothing about it. Myanmar government is planning to introduce the course in the upcoming academic session, stated the publication.

The Irrawaddy further reported that in the posts, which went viral on social media, the doctor claimed that some Buddhist monks do everything that ordinary people do, including secretly watching porn movies, while at the same time criticizing sex education.

He questioned their right to get involved in matters of health and education. After receiving widespread criticism for his posts targeting the Buddhist monks, the doctor offered apologies during a ritual at the Monastery, from where he was finally arrested amidst high voltage drama.

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