Singapore protestors give Thein Sein a message for Daw Suu

Mar 20, 2009 (DVB), Three protestors who tried to hand flowers to the Burmese Prime Minister for imprisoned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a ceremony to honour his visit to Singapore have labeled the ceremony an "insult".

Singapore's traditional 'Orchid Naming Ceremony' was held on Wednesday to mark the Burmese Prime Minister's visit to the city-state.

Three Singaporean protestors handed Thein Sein a bouquet of orchids to pass on to National League for Democracy leader Daw Suu, and called for her release.

"We are angry with the fact that the flower is going to be named after him because he is a dictator," said one of the protestors.

"We feel it would be more fitting for the orchid flower to be honoured in the name of Miss Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the rightful leader of Burma."

Protests are rare in Singapore and gatherings of five or more people are illegal without a police permit.

"Other people that have been named after this flower in Singapore are people like Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan so we found this to be a big insult to our national flower and also to all the people that have gotten this."

"The NLD won the democratic election but the junta continues to murder and kill and torture people in Burma with no respect for human rights," he said.

Thein Sein was in Singapore to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues, following a visit to Indonesia.

National League for Democracy spokesperson Nyan Win said that Singapore's urging of "bolder steps" towards democratic reform in Burma were "a good sign".

Reporting by Nay Htoo

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