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Suu Kyi’s Party Launches Vote ‘No’ Tour

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The Moustache Brothers urge voters to vote “No” with arms crossed in front of their chests.

Suu Kyi’s Party Launches Vote ‘No’ Tour



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By WAI MOE

The Irrawaddy, Monday, April 28, 200

The National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Burma’s democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, is taking its vote “No” campaign across the county even as the regime is warning opposition forces to cease anti-referendum efforts.

Win Naing, a NLD spokesperson, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that leading members of the party were traveling to other cities to explain the party’s position on the constitution and the referendum.

“At the moment, we can campaign in at least five regions of the country—it is what we can do under the oppressive conditions created by the authorities,” he said.

“The NLD also plans to monitor the voting in the country as long as we can,” said Win Naing. “The party will also explain how to vote ‘No’ to the people of Burma through members in rural and urban areas. Our position is that people should vote against the unjust and undemocratic constitution in the referendum.”

Kyaw Hsan, the minister of information and a central secretary of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, traveled to Sagaing Division in northern Burma on April 21, the junta’s mouthpiece, Myanma Alin’s reported on Monday. He called on local people to vote “yes” in the referendum and vowed the constitution would guarantee stability, development and democracy.

Meanwhile in Rangoon, the largest city in Burma, security was tightened by authorities.
“There are police in civilian clothes and uniforms along with Swan Ah-shin at bus stops in Rangoon both in downtown areas and outside of downtown,” a student in Rangoon said. “Some of them were holding batons and some were holding guns.”

Rumors were circulating that the authorities would set up CCTV cameras at polling booths to allow them to determine who voted “Yes” or “No,” said a taxi driver in Rangoon. “So I am now thinking whether I should go to vote, because I don’t want to vote ‘Yes’ but I don’t want authorities to know how I voted.”

Sources said vote “No” campaigns by dissident groups could be found across the city. “I saw a group of students distributing vote ‘No’ leaflets in Tamwe Township,” said a shop owner.

One opposition group, The All Burma Federation of Student Union, released a statement on Monday supporting the vote “No” campaign and launched its own house-to-house, underground campaign across the country.

“There are more than 10 young organizations that are campaigning to vote against the constitution,” said Tun Myint Aung of the 88 Generation Students group.

“Activists will try to monitor voting on May 10,” he said. “Then everyone will know if the junta cheated and how they cheated.”

The well-known comedians, the Moustache Brothers, are conducting a vote “No” campaign in their nightly performances in Mandalay, the second largest city, using a visual gag of crossing their arms over their chests, a tourist told The Irrawaddy.

“The military junta is doing its utmost to encourage everyone to vote ‘Yes’ on May 10 and endorse the constitution,” says Par Par Lay, one of the Moustache Brothers. “But the Moustache Brothers would like everyone to know that they will vote ‘No’ in the referendum.”

“This is a sham constitution that the junta is trying to force onto us,” he says. “If we vote
‘Yes,’ democracy will never come to Burma.”

Par Par Lay and Lu Maw, his fellow comedian, were both imprisoned for seven years during the 1990s. Par Par Lay was jailed again for more than one month during the 2007 civil uprising.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=11576

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Junta Using Threats to Win Referendum Vote, Says NLD





Written by Lwin Aung Soe

April 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Posted in ဧရာ၀တီ

Tagged with ,

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