Burma Martyrs’ Day Protest in London
19 July 2011: About 100 people today gathered in front of Burmese Embassy in London, commemorating the 64th anniversary of Martyrs’ Day in Burma.
The event organised by Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) in association with Burmese and ethnic communities in the UK opened with a session of paying tribute and salute to Burma’s fallen heroes, assassinated on 19 July 1947.
Mr. Myo Thein, BDC Director, said the military junta downgraded Burma Martyrs’ Day in order to eliminate the influence of the independence heroes.
“We held the demonstration in order to keep the torch of martyrs’ spirit alight. Today, we demanded U Thein Sein’s regime to upgrade Martyrs’ Day to a state commemoration, to educate the youths its important essence, and to ensure its spirit being carried into the future generation of Burma.”
General Aung San and seven Cabinet Members, Thakin Mya, Dedoke U Ba Cho, U Razak, U Ba Win, Mahn Ba Khaing, Mai Pong Sawphwa Sao San Htun and Cabinet Secretary U Ohn Maung as well as a bodyguard Maung Htwe were shot to death during a cabinet meeting in Rangoon.
Chin student activist Mr. Lal Muan Kima told the protesters the importance of unity among ethnic nationalities at this time of moment when the military authorities are attacking and killing the civilians in Burma.
“As we remember our fallen heroes who led our country into independence, it is extremely vital that the peoples of Burma maintain and share the vision, principle and determination to bring peace and freedom into Burma,” added the Chin speaker.
In Rangoon, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led more than 3,000 democracy supporters on a march in honour of her father, General Aung San. She also attended the Martyrs’ Day ceremony organised by Burma’s new government in the former capital.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang