Activists commemorate general Aung San's birthday

Feb 14, 2008 (DVB)-National League for Democracy members and student youth across Burma celebrated the 93rd birthday of independence leader general Aung San yesterday.

In Rangoon division, a celebration was held at the house of Ko Lay Lwin, an NLD member from South Dagon township.

Around 100 children and 50 adults attended the event, which ran from 9am to 11am.

Lay Lwin said he hoped the celebration would help teach the younger generation about general Aung San.

"We held this celebration to remind our children about general Aung San, as a lot of children nowadays barely know who he is," Lay Lwin said.

"No matter how much the government puts pressure or restrictions on us, we will do what we have to do until we die."

Small groups of people also gathered at pagodas around Rangoon for candlelight vigils.

In Kamaryut township in Rangoon, two groups called Generation Wave and Freedom Fighters carried out a joint operation to distribute anti-government leaflets.

Kyaw Kyaw, a spokesperson for Generation Wave, said that they had to hand out the leaflets quickly due to the presence of Union Solidarity and Development Association members.

"The leaflets we distributed bore a picture of the father of our independence, general Aung San, and also the message, 'Power to the people against the military dictatorship'," he said.

U Than Pe, the NLD deputy chairman in Taunggok township, Arakan state, said the group held candlelight vigils in the township.

"Starting from about 8am, we split people up into groups of five and searched for a pagoda that hadn't been locked up," Than Pe said.

"We tried again at Phaung Taw Oo pagoda where we tried to go on Union Day, but the gates were still locked, so in the end we lit candles in front of the pagoda at Thein Daw monastery."

At celebrations in Aung Lan township, Magwe division, activists marked general Aung San's birthday by discussing his life and his work bringing independence to Burma.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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