On Friday, monks and activists ushered in the Burmese new year by staging two separate symbolic acts of releasing animals to draw attention to the continued detention of Burmese citizens of political or ideological grounds.
On the banks of the Inya Lake, members of the Democracy and Peace Women’s Network released fish as a sign of hope that Burma’s political prisoners will be released.
Meanwhile, the All Burma Federation of Students Union and the Sephron Monk Network met in the compound of the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay Division, calling for the release of students, farmers and prisoners of conscience.
At the end of last month, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma, there remained in Burma 173 political prisoners, with 316 individuals awaiting trial on political grounds.
A protest was held last week to mark one month since 127 students were arrested during scenes of chaos on 10 March, which saw a violent police reaction when an a tense eight-day showdown with protestors – who were attempting to march to Rangoon to show their anger at the widely unpopular National Education Law – turned ugly. Seventy activists remain in Tharawady prison.