International celebrations for Daw Suu's birthday

Jun 16, 2008 (DVB), Events are being held across the globe to celebrate the 63rd birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and acknowledge her contribution towards the struggle for democracy in Burma.

In the US the occasion is to be held at the Capitol Building, home of the US Congress, on 19 June from 11am to 12.30pm.

US senators, Burmese government in exile, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Burmese activists, foreign correspondents and the Burmese exile media are all expected to attend.

According to U Tin Maung Thaw, a board member of the US Campaign for Burma, the event will not solely be a celebration but also an opportunity to appeal to the US government to bring Burma to the International Court of Justice.

"We do it every year, but the special thing about this year is that we’re going to march to the White House after the gathering," said Tin Maung Thaw.

"[We want the US] to bring the Burmese government before the ICJ for unfairly exceeding the five-year limit of Daw Suu’s house arrest, which is an act against international law."

At the same time, there are plans to push for international action to be taken against the Burmese government for being responsible for the deaths of cyclone victims due to their inaction.

"The Burmese government, by refusing international help, has left many to die, and that is a crime against humanity," said Tin Maung Thaw.

Some of the attendees at the celebration will march to the White House in order to make this appeal.

They are also expected to march on to the UK and French embassies to make the same plea.

In South Korea, celebrations on behalf of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday have already begun in a preemptive ceremony held yesterday.

Hosted by the National League for Democracy , Liberated Area, the event took place in Busao town from 1pm to 4pm and was attended by Korean parliamentary representatives, university professors and Burmese nationals.

With as many as 150 guests in attendance the NLD-LA chairman U Aung Myint Swe spoke about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ‘s long struggle for democracy.

The celebration also included a video screening of documentaries about the NLD leader’s life and the Depayin massacre.

The occasion involved a group prayer where people from different religions joined together to pray for her freedom.

Reporting by Yee May Aung and Htet Aung Kyaw

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