Protest In Commemoration of 1990 Election And Depayin Massacre
About 100 protesters yesterday braved London rain in front of Burmese Embassy in London, marking the 19th anniversary of Burma’s 1990 election and commemorating what is now known as ‘The Depayin Massacre’.
The event, organised by National League for Democracy (Liberated Areas, UK) in association with Burmese communities in the UK, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with all political prisoners, and for recognising the 1990 election in Burma.
Dr. Win Naing, Chairman of NLD (LA, UK), told Chinland Guardian: “We are gathering here at the demonstration for the 19th anniversary of the 1990 free and fair election, which has been neglected by the military regime, and for the 6th anniversary of the Depayin Massacre where the regime killed about 100 NLD followers during their attempt to assassinate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The offenders are free and not charged but other victims have been arrested. We are also here demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi as soon as possible.”
Chin pastor and activist, Rev. Shwekey Hoipang, told the protesters: “If we all come together, work together and unite together, we will one day win what we are fighting for and achieve what we want. What we want is democracy, and peaceful and harmonious co-existence in Burma.”
A 14-year-old Muslim girl from Burma, Bilkis Abdullah, read her poem called ‘My Little Message’, criticizing the military regime of what they have been doing as ‘wrong and so long’ while some lines of her poem say:
Don’t get too happy that you can rule,
Because we’re not the ones that you can fool,
We will keep on going and get back our right,
And I’m sure we will definitely win this fight!
East Asia Team Leader of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Benedict Rogers, said: “We have to carry on and in fact, we double our efforts for a free Burma. There may be times where we feel tired, we take stronger lessons and we go on working but we must remember the peoples in Burma who are denied the freedom to enjoy and who are suffering – many of them facing torture, slavery and rape, and struggling for daily survival. As long as their situation goes on and as long as Aung San Suu Kyi remains in detention, we have to continue, increase and intensify our efforts.”
“The words ‘Free Burma’ are on our T-shirts and banners, but we need to engrave them on our hearts and embed them in our mind, and never ever give up until Burma and all the peoples are free,” added Benedict Rogers, wearing a ‘Free Burma’ red T-shirt.
London-based Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Utttara prayed during the protest for peace and freedom in Burma. The demonstration had other key speakers from UK-based Burmese organisations.
Another demonstration was later held in front of French Embassy in London, calling on French oil giant, Total, to pull out of Burma. Total, one of the biggest investors in Burma, is in a joint venture with the military regime in the Yadana gas project, which earns the regime hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
By Van Biak Thang
28 May, 2009