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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Burmese Democracy Elusive as Country Marks Independence

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http://www.america.gov/

02 January 2009

Burmese Democracy Elusive as Country Marks Independence

State Department honors General Aung San’s vision, calls for more freedom

General Aung San (AP Images)

Burmese independence leader General Aung San, shown here in 1946, envisioned an independent, peaceful and democratic country.

Washington — As Burma’s people prepare to mark the 61st anniversary of their country’s independence from British rule on January 4, the Bush administration expressed its support for universal human rights guarantees and its hope that the Burmese soon “will be able to enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy.”

In a January 2 statement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack expressed “warmest wishes” to the Burmese people as they mark their independence, adding: “As we reflect on Burma’s independence struggle, led by General Aung San, we are reminded of our own history.”

The United States stands with the Burmese “in honoring Aung San’s vision for an independent, peaceful and democratic Burma,” and looks forward to the day the Burmese will be able to exercise their human rights, the statement said.

Acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters January 2 that the United States “fought a revolution in order to ensure representative government and the freedoms that we hold very dear,” such as those enshrined in the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

“We believe that the Burmese people 61 years ago did the same thing,” Duguid said. “Unfortunately, although independent, they have not enjoyed that freedom for much of their history.”

He said that after obtaining independence, Burma “started out as one of the leading nations in Asia,” but “that has not been the case recently” after decades of rule by the military regime. “They now lag in almost all indicators of societal development.”

According to press reports, nine pro-democracy activists were arrested in Rangoon on December 30, 2008, after using a silent march to call for the release of General Aung San’s daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi earned the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. Her National League for Democracy party won Burma’s national elections in 1990, but was prevented by the military junta from taking office. She has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years in detention.

In remarks to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2008, first lady Laura Bush praised Suu Kyi as well as other Burmese women who have shown courage by dissenting from the military government and promoting greater freedom in the country. (See “Burmese Cyclone Victims to Get Additional $5 Million in U.S. Aid.”)

The full text of McCormack’s statement on Burma is available on America.gov.

http://www.america.gov/st/democracy-english/2009/January/20090102141459esnamfuak0.5827448.html?CP.rss=true

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 4, 2009 at 1:35 am

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