Sitting during Myanmar national anthem punishable by 3 years in prison

Myanmar flag. Photo: Flickr / Chuck Moravec
Myanmar flag. Photo: Flickr / Chuck Moravec

A minister in the Yangon Region government has issued a reminder that sitting while the Myanmar national anthem is played in cinemas is illegal, and those who do it will face a prison sentence of up three years in prison, plus the possibility of a K300,000 fine.

Naw Pan Thinzar Myo, the regional minister for Karen ethnic affairs, offered the reminder during a session of the regional parliament yesterday, after she was asked by an MP whether the penalty applies even in situations where cinemas do not instruct moviegoers to stand for the anthem and salute the national flag.

Naw Pan Thinzar Myo responded that under the 2010 Union Flag Law, the penalty still applies. She added that the public would need to be educated on how to respect the anthem and the flag in cinemas and that the Ministry of Information has instructed cinema managers to display instructions before the anthem is played.

She also indicated that some moviegoers have been found sitting during the anthem deliberately and would be subject to the penalty if caught.

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