Friday, November 21, 2008

Youth request junta for permission to meet Suu Kyi

by Than Htike Oo
20 November 2008

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Dozens of youth have appealed to the military government to allow them to meet and pay their respect to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest.

About 50 youth, most National League for Democracy (NLD) party members, yesterday sent a letter by post to military head of state, Senior General Than Shwe, requesting they be allowed to pay homage to the 63-year old opposition leader in accordance with Burmese tradition.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Home Affairs Minister Major General Maung Oo and the Chairman of the Bahan Township Peace and Development Committee.

NLD Dagon satellite town Organizing Committee member Aye Thwin told Mizzima, "The youth sent this letter in the hope of getting permission from the SPDC [junta] to pay homage in a peaceful and lawful manner [to Suu Kyi] in accordance with Burmese tradition."

"If the authorities do not respond to their letter, the youth will take it as tacit approval by the government and they will go to the residence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to pay homage to her. The youth also requested in their letter that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi be allowed to come to party headquarters to receive homage paid by these youths," he said.

Opposition sources said that the plan to meet with the daughter of Burma's independence hero, Bogyoke Aung San, was initiated by some renegade youth who have differences with the party's top leaders.

Thai-based Burma analyst Aung Naing Oo said that though it is the Burmese tradition, the junta is not likely to allow the youth to proceed in paying their respect.

"The junta will see such a movement as a political movement against them and they will not allow it. If the youth defy them and pay homage to their leader, I think the junta will take severe action against them," Aung Naing Oo predicted.

Mizzima has learned that, in their request, the youth said they were happy to see the removal of barriers erected along the road to the residence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the cleaning and collecting of rubbish from her premises by the City Development Committee.

Authorities removed the barbed wire barriers on University Avenue, leading to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's residence, on October 26th.

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