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Letter of support for Burma on 8888 Anniversary from Belarusian Association of Journalists

By Belarusian Association of Journalists  •  August 9, 2011

Dear colleagues and friends,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, an independent organization of media professionals from Belarus. Today, when the world commemorates an anniversary of the 8.8.88 Uprising in Burma, I would like to address you on behalf of my association and all the people in my country, who struggle for democracy, with sincere words of solidarity and support.

We all know that despite courage and aspiration of free-thinking people, tyranny and dictatorship are still present in the world. Unfortunately, both our countries, your Burma and our Belarus, know from their own experience what is the price to pay for democracy and freedom. Fortunately, though, both Burma and Belarus have courageous and determined people, who are ready to pay this price to see their countries joining a family of free and democratic nations of the world.

After the presidential election and peaceful protests against its falsifications in December 2010 hundreds of Belarusians faced arrests, physical violence and humiliation from the authorities of their country. Dozens of my compatriots are in prison now – just because they are brave enough to demand free and fair elections in their own country. My colleagues, journalists, have to fulfill their professional duties in one of the most hostile media environments in the world. But, of course, the difficult situation we are facing in Belarus cannot be compared with the horror of thousands of deaths caused by the bloody military coup in Burma, following the 8.8.88 Uprising.

Tyrants and dictators may act in different ways. But there is one thing, which is in common for all of them – their tyranny and dictatorship are destined to come to an end, sooner or later.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2004. It was an honor for all of us – not just because that prize pointed out the importance of what we do, but, most importantly, because outstanding people like Aung San Suu Kyi were awarded it before us. So, this was – and still is – both an honor and a huge responsibility for my colleagues and me, to be worthy of the great example set by Aung San Suu Kyi and other Brumese democratic movement activists of the 88 Generation.

I wish to see all great people of Burma, Belarus and other nations struggling for peace and democracy, who still suffer for their hopes and beliefs, free, safe and sound. And I do believe changes are inevitable in both our countries. Let me once again express our solidarity and support to you, and wish you the very best in your noble and courageous activities.

With warmest regards,

Andrei Aliaksandrau
Vice Chairperson
Belarusian Association of Journalists

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