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Asian artists write open letter for Burma

Oct 5, 2007 (DVB), Thirty-two people in the arts have signed an open letter to show support for peaceful protestors in Burma and condemn the violence against them by the military regime.

The signatories come from a range of Asian ethnic backgrounds and include artists, performers, filmmakers and writers. Among those who signed are Amitav Ghosh, who wrote The Glass Palace and Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient.

"As citizens of the world, as artists valuing free expression, as people of Asian heritage, we write in support of the courageous Buddhist monks and nuns, and other people from all religions and walks of life in Burma, as they continue to seek peaceful change and national reconciliation" the letter reads.

"We support the ongoing struggle of the people of Burma for basic human rights, and we admire their expressions of compassion for all humanity. As fellow humans, we stand with them."

As well as condemning the "military reign of terror" since security forces began crackdowns on protesters, the letter also calls for the release of detained National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, comedian Zarganar, and poet Bamaw Nyo New.

Reporting by DVB

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