Friday, 4 January 2008

'Authorities' Try To Stop Independence Day Celebrations

3 January 2008
Original report by Naw Say Paw and Maung Too, DVB

The chairman of National League for Democracy Party, Ye' Nan Chaung and one of his colleagues were advised not to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Independence Day by the chief police official of Magwe', it is reported.

The NLD party of Ye' Nan Chaung had been organising programmes for the celebration, including the offering of meals to 5 monks. Although applications and notices were sent off since 27 December, the party members were only told yesterday, not to hold the celebration and not to get together to form a crowd.

U Khin Win, the chair of Ye' Nan Chaung NLD and U Than Aung , party promotional member, who yesterday were taken away for questioning , are still being detained. In the absence of their leaders, the rest of the members were determined to carry on with the planned celebration.

'It doesn't look like they (the leaders) will be released soon. We have left warm clothes and blankets for them. Nevertheless, the rest of us will continue with our plans', said one party member.

In another area of Magwe' Division, other NLD members were also planning to celebrate Independence Day. It is reported that the movements and activities of Aung Lan NLD Party, were watched closely by groups of USDA and Swan Arr Shin members, who were camping outside the Party's communication office.

NLD party members across Mandalay Division including Mandalay city, Maik Te La District and Thar Si were all preparing and organising to celebrate Independence Day, it is reported.

No effort to interfere with the preparations for the celebrations at the Headquarters of National League for Democracy, Rangoon were reported. U Nyan Win of the Party's Central Information Department commented that it was an insult to the meaning of 'independence' if the freedom to celebrate the country's Independence Day was not accepted by 'authorities'.

'Independence Day is a very special and precious day for everyone in the country. Prohibiting or restricting celebrations for this special day would mean that we are not grateful to our Martyrs who fought for our freedom at that time for us,' he said.

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