59th Independence Day for Burma

Independence Monument, Rangoon, Burma
The Independence Monument in Rangoon, Burma. Taken on the rooftop of my dad’s old house on Jan. 5, 2006.

Today is Burma’s 59th anniversary of independence from Great Britain. As usual, Burma’s dictator, Than Shwe has spewed forth a message titled “Powerful countries interferring in internal affairs of others, Young generation are duty-bound to safeguard independence and sovereignty” in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar. On a brighter side, the government, under goodwill, has released 2,831 prisoners (including 20 political prisoners) for “moral behavior and spiritual values [that] have improved and changed for the better.” Apparently Aung San Suu Kyi does not have good “moral behavior”, while the ruling military dictatorship does, while the military slaughters thousands of Karen villagers.

Join the “Open Heart” campaign, run by the 88 Generation Students, former college students and democracy activists in Burma. Its last grassroots campaign in Burma yielded 535,580 signatures in a petition calling for democratic reform and release of political prisoners in Burma. The “Open Heart” campaign calls on people to write to the Burmese government calling on reforms in politics, the economy and social affairs. I will write to the Burmese embassy in Washington D.C., as a sign of protest, even if the ambassador disregards my letter. For those interested, the address for Americans is:

2300 S Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008

The government has made it even easier for those in other countries. Addresses are listed at embassies around the world here: http://www.myanmar.com/myanmar_missions/index.html.

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