A demonstration which marks the first anniversary of the so-called Saffron Revolution is to take place in front of Royal Thai Embassy in London, UK on Friday, calling on the ASEAN nations and its chair to exercise their power to push for the release of political prisoners in Burma.
The event, which is organised by Burma Campaign UK in coordination with other Burmese organisations and activists, will focus on Thailand, the current chair of ASEAN, which is the region’s economic and political forum where Burma is one of the 10 members.
“On the first anniversary of the crackdown on the peaceful protests, we will be holding a demonstration to call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma,” said Anna Roberts of Burma Campaign UK.
“One year ago thousands of Burmese monks and civilians took to the streets in nationwide protests to call for human rights and democracy. Burma’s military dictatorship responded with a brutal crackdown, opening fire on peaceful protesters and arresting thousands. Many of those demonstrators are now in prison, held in dreadful conditions, subject to horrific torture and routinely denied medical treatment,” added she.
A 79-year-old U Win Tin, Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner in the military-ruled country was after 19 years released along with 9,002 other prisoners this week. Sources said that most of the 9,002 freed were ordinary prisoners and that there are more than 2,000 political prisoners including Buddhist monks and other activists under the military-controlled prison in Burma.
After last year’s uprisings, the number of prisoners of conscience has almost doubled to 2,056. We all should put our effort and make sure that to secure the release of political prisoners is one of the top priorities for Ban Ki Moon when he goes to Burma, according to Burmese Democratic Movement Association (BDMA)‘s website.
A programme of offering alms and food to monks in memory and honour of those who gave their lives in the struggle for democracy in Burma will be held in the morning at London’s Wembley monastery. A magazine will be launched at London’s Colindale Monastery in commemoration of the Golden Colour Revolution.
Van Biak Thang
24 September 2008