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Dec 4, 2008 (DVB), General Kyaw Zaw, a veteran politician and one of the Thirty Comrades, has urged the people of Burma to keep on fighting against the military dictatorship and not to give in to pressure from the regime.
Kyaw Zaw, speaking on the occasion of his 89th birthday yesterday, called for unity and perseverance.
"I am 89 years old today, I am now a geriatric, as [Burmese revolutionary icon] Sayagyi Thakhin Ko Daw Hmine often described himself," Kyaw Zaw said.
"I am so proud and delighted to see our people are still fighting relentlessly against the military dictatorship through over the generations with no fear in the face of the various pressures from the government," he said.
"I would like to urge everyone to keep on fighting and not to give up," he continued.
"I ask everyone to stand together in unity and show understanding towards each other; also I would like to urge the SPDC and all the troops in the military to show respect to the people as their mentors and not to treat them like their enemies."
Kyaw Zaw, along with Ye Htut, is one of the two surviving members of the Thirty Comrades, who travelled to Japan in 1941 for military training, founded the Burmese Independence Army and returned to Burma to fight against British colonial rule.
He was dismissed from the army in 1957 after being accused of leaking information on the army's movements to the Communist Party of Burma, of which he was a senior member.
He went on to stand for parliament in 1960 but was unsuccessful.
Since going in to exile, Kyaw Zaw has called for dialogue between the military regime and the National League for Democracy and urged the people of Burma to continue their struggle against the junta.
Kyaw Zaw now lives in exile in China.
Reporting by Aye Nai