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Free Burma

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday August 09, 2008 11:07author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerauthor email libertypics at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Global Day of Acton: Unnotified event?

I was on my way to the printers (to get photos printed for anti war exhibition) yesterday (Fri. Aug.8th) and came across this protest/vigil that was organised by the 'Burma Action Ireland' group.
I was surprised to see this, as I had heard or read nothing about it, I was even more surprised, given the important significance of the date, 8-8-88, that it wasn't advertised in the events section on indymedia.

I have my own ideas why this was, but would any of you care to comment?

While I am here, I will post some of the text from the press release.

(c ) Michael Gallagher all three images.
(c ) Michael Gallagher all three images.

Global Day of Action for Burma:

20 years after 8-8-88 massacre (8 August 1988) and Burma still struggles for freedom.

Today, Friday 8 August 2008, marks the 20th anniversary of Burma's 8-8-88 massacre, when nationwide protests calling for an end to military rule in Burma and the establishment of democratic government were violently suppressed by the military authorities with the killing of approximately 3,000 peaceful demonstrators.

20 years after 8 August 1998, Burma's people still strive for democracy and human rights. In September 2007 in what is now as the "Saffron Revolution", the Burmese military junta once again launched a crackdown on peaceful protesters and Buddhist monks calling for improve living conditions. Earlier this year, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, the regime not only failed to mobilize their own forces to help victims, they blocked offers of assistance from international community and concentrated their own efforts holding a referendum on a new constitution that would enshrine military rule.

The 20th anniversary of 8-8-88 coincides with the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics in China, the main supporter of the Burmese military regime. China is both a major trading partner and supplier of billions of dollars of weapons to the military junta. In addition, China has used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block any attempts to push the Burmese military junta to take steps towards peaceful democratic reform.

Burma a country with a population of over 50 million, has one of the world's worst human rights records. Political prisoners including journalists, students and political activists, are given lengthy sentences for expressing their views and are systematically tortured while in custody. Worse still are the abuses directed at the ethnic minorities, which include forced labour, rape and summary execution.

The 8-8-88 uprising was the spark for the creation of the National League for Democracy, the party which won the overwhelming majority of seats in the 1990 parliamentary elections but these results have never been recognized by the military. The National League for Democracy is led by 63 years-old Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a Freewoman of the cities of Dublin and Galway.



author by DM - Labour Partypublication date Sat Aug 09, 2008 15:20Report this post to the editors

I think the organisers just failed to promote the event outside their own circle. One of the chief organisers is a Labour Party member and it was only posted on our discussion boards 2 hours after it had happened!

To be honest there was an element of this during the protests in support of the monks a while ago.

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