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Demonstrators Call on US President Obama to Support Peace in Myanmar

November 19, 2012

Demonstration at President Obama's speech in RangoonMore than 20 people staged a demonstration at the University of Yangon as US President Barack Obama arrived to deliver his public speech today. They held up posters calling for Obama to help stop civil war and use his visit to raise the issue of peace.

“We welcome President Obama, but his visit cannot overshadow the need for peace, human rights and democracy in our country. Our people continue to suffer in the world’s longest civil war, activists face repression for leading civil and political rights demonstrations, and hundreds of political prisoners remain in prisons across the nation even after 66 were released today,” said Moe Thway, a member of Generation Wave’s Central Executive Committee and an organizer of the protest. “We demonstrated today to call on President Obama not to support the government which is fighting against it’s own people and violating their fundamental human rights, but to stand with the oppressed people throughout our country.”

Representatives from Yangon People Service Network, Generation Wave and Youth Force held up posters saying “Mr Obama, please help to stop civil war and bring them back home”, “Free all political prisoners now!” and “Welcome Mr Obama, Please bring peace to Burma.”

Police asked the demonstrators not to use posters about Lap Pa Daung Mining Project and freedom for political prisoners, however the protesters persisted. The police then tried to hide the posters with their car, or with police officers in a row. The protesters moved to a different place and raised the posters above the police.

“President Obama said in his speech today that the most important office in a democracy is that of the citizen. We hope that the United States will live up to the President’s words and take concrete actions to support the oppressed, the dispossessed, the poor and the forgotten — all the people of Myanmar,” said Moe Thway, who also attended the President’s speech after the demonstration.

Photos of the demonstration are available here.

For more information, contact:

Moe Thway: moethway@generationwave.org or +959421087993 (English and Burmese)

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This post is in: People's Voices, Press Release

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