On Saturday 19th June, human rights activists will join together to mark the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League of Democracy to victory in the last elections in Burma back in 1990 with just under 60 per cent of the vote. However, the ruling military junta ignored the result and she has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and has been described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “Burma’s Nelson Mandela”
In Burma, any political meeting of more than 5 people is considered an illegal act. Such a small act of defiance is impossible to do in Burma without severe consequences. Stirrer blogger, Dr David Nicholl said “In Burma, the harsh reality is that anyone brave enough to speak up against the regime can be monitored, harassed, discriminated against, detained, imprisoned, tortured and even killed. We felt that we could acknowledge solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people by meeting at 1pm on Saturday next to the Bull at the Bull Ring. We will all wear masks of Aung San’s face and a photograph taken. All the photos uploaded onto Facebook will be passed onto Aung San’s supporters In Burma. This will be a tremendous way to show that the people of Birmingham are literally ‘at one’ with the people of Burma”
This is part of a national initiative from Amnesty International to simultaneously ‘flash mob’ photos of Aung San supporters at 1pm via Facebook. Other demonstrations are taking place in Hagley, Manchester, Bath and overseas. Dr Nicholl is encouraging others to add their support and photographs via the Foreign Office Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fcoburma?ref=ts
On Friday, Radio 4 will be broadcasting a special programme on Aung San Suu Kyi. The following day (Aung San Suu Kyi’s actual birthday) the programme will be broadcast by BBC World Service into Burma.
Dr David Nicholl