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Jan 5, 2009 (DVB), Opposition groups led by the National League for Democracy marked the 61st anniversary of Burma’s independence yesterday under the close watch of the military authorities.
At a ceremony held at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon, the party read out a statement insisting it would not accept the new election in 2010 until the SPDC recognises the 1990 election results.
The party also called for the release of all political prisoners and the convening of a parliament made up of representatives elected by the people to draw up a constitution that truly represents the will of the people.
At the official Independence Day ceremony held in front of the new town hall in Naypyidaw, a representative of State Peace and Development Council leader senior general Than Shwe read out a message urging the people to accept the new election and the seven-step road map.
The general did not attend the ceremony in person.
Government agents and special branch police kept a close watch on the proceedings and videotaped the attendees but for the most part did not obstruct the events.
However, forty-year old activist and private tutor Aung Pe from Twan Tay was arrested after he saluted an Independence monument with his hand tied.
The NLD also organised prayer meetings, public speaking competitions for young people in Rangoon and regional towns such as Mandalay, Myingyan, Taungtha and Yenangyaung.
Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw and Yee May Aung