Monday, January 5, 2009

Private tutor stages solo protest - U Aung Pe

by Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A teacher into private tuitions staged a solo protest in Twante, Rangoon Division protesting lack of genuine freedom in Burma yesterday on the 61st Independence from British rule.

The private tutor U Aung Pe (52) tied his hands with a plastic rope symbolizing bondage and observed two minutes silence, saluting the Independence stone pillar at about 7:30 a.m. yesterday in Twante town.

"The protest took place just 50 yards from his home. He tied his hands with a plastic rope and raised his hands at about 7:30 a.m. yesterday in his ward. Then he saluted the Independenhce stone pillar solemnly for about two minutes and returned home," one of his friends told Mizzima.

"He expressed sympathy for those who are languishing in prison when he himself is free by staging this solo and silent protest," he added.

Similarly he was detained for over a month by Twante Township Police force on November 22 last year on 'National Day' when he was on his way to the 'National League for Democracy' (NLD) party headquarter in Bahan Township, Rangoon.

He also observed the 20th anniversary of the 8888 uprising on August 8 last year, and objected against vote rigging during the constitutional referendum held in May last year in his ward polling station. He distributed 'NO' campaign posters of the NLD by wearing a T-shirt with 'NO' letters. After indulging in these anti-government activities, the Twante Township Court restricted his movement starting from December 16 last year for one year.

Moreover he held the birthday ceremony of Independence hero Bogyoke Aung San at the same Independence stone pillar in his town on 13 February 2005 with his 10th Grade students. The next day, the township court charged him with a case under section 23 of the Tuition Law and sentenced him to three years imprisonment. He was released on February 14, 2008.

The township authorities have not yet asked him any question for yesterday's activity.

The Twante Township authorities also held their Independence Day ceremony starting at about 4 a.m. yesterday which was attended by about 100 government employees and Ward and Village Tract authorities. The participants saluted the stone pillar.

Burma regained independence from British colonial rule on January 4, 1948. The military rulers have grabbed power in a coup in 1962.

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