Thursday, 31 January 2008

Taunggok's Poster War : "Bring it on!"

28 January 2008
Original report by Naw Say Paw, DVB
Translation by Nay Chi U

Taunggok, arguably the most courageous town in the world, managed to put up posters in five areas, early this morning, despite being under close surveillance by armed security forces, the locals announced.

The posters read, " Follow the announcement of United Nations Human Rights !" "Release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, immediately !" " Release all political prisoners and monks, immediately!" " Stop unlawful and violent arrests !" " Start developing Myanmar's future by meetings and discussions !".

"One in a rain tree, near the local authorities office, one in front of the hospital, one near the small market and two by the nursery school, altogether five." said a local.

Not long after the posters were up, the police force went around to remove them all, it is reported.

Taunggok residents planned to stage a peaceful demonstration on 17 January, to express what they think of the current situation but 'authorities', or the junta, intervened.

Since then the security has been tightened up but the brave local people still managed to express their opinions using posters, though only for a short time.

The same anonymous person carried on to explain the aims of the poster war.

"The security is extremely tight and we wouldn't have a chance to gather in public. However it is necessary to raise morale among the people and that's why the posters went up, just to confirm to the junta that we are not going to give up easily."

On 22 January, two men, Ko Than Htay and Ko Zaw Naing were arrested and charged with movement restrictions after they went around the town, shouting democracy slogans aloud.

Ko Than Htay, who was beaten and punched by authorities that evening, had his face so bruised his family couldn't recognise who he was when they saw him.

"Taunggok was never very pleased with 'authority' but now with the tight security and violent arrests, the town is very unhappy about it all. We can just safely say that Taunggok is fully prepared for future confrontations."

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