Myanmar’s army drops lawsuit against religious leader

YANGON: Myanmar’s army said it had dropped a criminal complaint against a religious leader who told US President Donald Trump the military was oppressing Christians, days after the United States voiced concern about the lawsuit.

Reverend Hkalam Samson, of the Kachin Baptist Convention, an organisation based in Kachin state representing Myanmar’s mostly Christian Kachin minority, took part in a gathering at the White House in July, when victims of religious persecution met with Trump and other US officials.

Samson told Trump that Christians were being “oppressed and tortured by the government” in the Buddhist-majority country.

He also thanked Trump for imposing sanctions against top generals over Myanmar’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

A military officer, Lt Col Than Htike, then filed a lawsuit against Samson, but a spokesperson said on Monday that it had now been formally withdrawn.

“We withdraw the case voluntarily because it is what we should do, ” army spokesperson Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said.

Samson called the move a positive gesture towards the Kachin people.

“We welcome this issue being finished with understanding and without needing to be brought to the court, ” he said. — Reuters


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