Thousands celebrate Burmese National Day

Nov 12, 2009 (DVB), Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday passed on a message of thanks to thousands of Burmese citizens who took part in celebrations to mark the country's 89th National Day.

In Rangoon the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party marked the event at the group's headquarters, and spokesperson Nyan Win passed on a message from the detained Suu Kyi.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has passed a message of thanks to the guests and political group members who are attending the National Day celebration, especially to the NLD members who travelled from townships in other divisions," he said.

The chair of the NLD's Magwe division office, Han Zaw, who hosted the event, also spoke in Rangoon yesterday. Around 1000 people attended the event, including ethnic political leaders and veteran politicians.

"Today was a special day in the Burmese history when university students rose up against the colonist government," he said. "This is a day that can't be forgotten; the day that triggered the Burmese independence movement."

The event commemorates the day in 1920 when students from Rangoon College and Judson College sparked protests against British colonial rule, specifically the Rangoon University Act 1920.

It was these protest that are believed to have triggered the movement which led towards decolonization of Burma by the British in 1948.

In Magwe division's Yaynanchaung township, NLD members urged the ruling junta to move towards democratic reform prior to elections next year.

"We would like to urge the regime to release all political prisoners including Ko Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Htay Kywe and Ko Myin Zeyar, if they want to see another National Day celebration being held," said NLD member Than Aung.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw, Khin Hnin Htet and Naw Noreen

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