Burma's Independence Day
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
Vancouver, January 4, 2004
Burma, which gained independence from Britain on the 4th Jan. 1948,
is still struggling to get rid of herself free from the shackles
of the military clutches led by a tyrannical Junta. The people of
Burma who had managed to seek asylum in Vancouver, B C, and Canada
have taken the initiative to commemorate this occasion in order
to remind them as well as to highlight their cause to the world.
The theme of “From the first to second independence”
which is the words of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was chosen not only to
highlight the cause but also to honour her, who is still under house
arrest up to this day.
A simple Buddhist Memorial Service ceremony to give merit and recollect
those compatriots who had made a supreme sacrifice for autonomy,
democracy and the prevalence of human rights in Burma. They especially
remember the latest episode of Depayin, where the military instigated
thugs attempted to murder the only Burmese Nobel laureate and pro
democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The Buddhist ceremony was
followed by a short candle light service (Christian ceremony) led
by Assistant Pastor Soe Kyaw Thu.
A keynote speech was given by Dr Chao Tzang Yaunghwe, (Eugene Thaike)
facto leader of the Burmese Diaspora. It was his father Sao Shwe
first President of modern Burma that lowered the Union Jack and
raised the flag of the Union of Burma way back in 1948 and ironically
after half a century, his son was still leading the people of Burma
in the struggle for second independence from the yoke of military
rule. He emphasized of how the brave Burmese army was waging war
not against the armed resistance groups but to the women and children
with their scotch earth policy of four cuts. Messages from Amnesty
International, Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network, Vancouver Burma
Round Table Conferences were read as it is the first time Burmese
Independent Day ceremony ever held in Vancouver. The ceremony was
organised by the grass root level people like Kyaw Thi Ha and Soe
U in co-operation with the Canadian friends.
Many Canadian friends showed their solidarity by braving the --
7 degree temperature and turning up at the ceremony where a potluck
lunch was provided.