Activists launch Valentine's Day rose campaign

Feb 11, 2009 (DVB), Three activist groups are urging people to join a rose campaign on Valentine's Day to call for peaceful resolution of the problems in Burma and to heal political rifts.

Underground youth group Generation Wave, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions and the Best Fertiliser Association are asking people to offer roses at pagodas and religious buildings, send postcards featuring roses and wear ornaments featuring roses on 14 February.

Generation Wave member Moe Thway said the campaign was intended to encourage an end to hatred and a future of peace and love.

"There have been years of difficulties, grudges and hatred between the army and the people and among political forces," Moe Thway said.

"We want to send the message that we should move forward with peace and love," he said.

"It will show that all people want peace and dialogue that is heading towards love."

Moe Thway said roses and rose ornaments or pictures could be displayed anywhere, and said the authorities would have no justification for arresting people for wearing roses.

On 23 December last year, youth activists launched a two-week jasmine campaign, calling on people to wear or display jasmine flowers to show support for political prisoners and opposition to the military regime.

In November 2007, students at Rangoon Eastern University who wore black as a sign of mourning for those killed in the September protests were ordered to discontinue their campaign and sign an agreement promising not to wear black in future.

At about the same time, students at Prome University in Bago were not allowed on the university campus if they were wearing black.

The 88 generation students' White Sunday campaign, also in 2007, in which participants wore white shirts and visited the homes of political prisoners, also met with official resistance, and many of those involved were later arrested.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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