Fri, Jun 20, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Students protest Aung San Suu Kyi's detention

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Students wearing masks of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi protest outside the British trade office in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Marking the birthday of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, several human rights groups yesterday staged a demonstration outside the British representative office in Taipei, asking the UK — the second-largest investor in Myanmar — to pressure the junta for her release.

The groups participating in the demonstration included the Taiwan Free Burma Network (TFBN), Amnesty International Taiwan, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Taiwan Labor Front and members of the Burmese community in Taiwan.

“Today is Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday, but the only gift she gets is extended house arrest,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Shu-ying (黃淑英) told the crowd.

“It’s very sad because Aung San Suu Kyi is the only Nobel laureate in detention,” she said.

“The international community should put pressure on the junta for her release as soon as possible,” she said.

In addition to asking the UK to place pressure on the junta, the Taiwan Free Burma Network also condemned the generals for forcing more than 70,000 children into military service, for the widespread practice of child labor and for blocking international aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, which devastated the country and killed more than 130,000 people.

Representatives of the groups were received by Mark Norton, head of the British office’s political and economic section.

“We presented a letter to the British government to Mr Norton, he accepted it and promised to take it back to London, and will get back to us as soon as the British government responds,” said Son Yu-lian (孫友聯), secretary-general of the Taiwan Labor Front and a founding member of the Taiwan Free Burma Network.

Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in 1989 for her involvement in Myanmar’s democracy movement. With a few exceptions, she has remained there ever since. Last month her detention was extended for another year.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Also See: Twelve detained on Aung San Suu Kyi's 63rd birthday

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