Wed 30 Jan 2008
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Burma’s main opposition political party, the National League for Democracy, plans to launch an essay competition on national reconciliation, party officials say.
Han Thar Myint, a NLD spokesperson, told The Irrawaddy that an open essay competition will be held on February 6, based on the title “2008: The Year of National Reconciliation.” The competition is open to all age groups.
“In past years, the NLD has held essay competitions,” he said. “But this time, the theme is National Reconciliation,” he said. “The NLD has already told the authorities about the essay competition, but they have not yet responded.”
In Burma, holding an assembly or competition without the permission of authorities is illegal.
The NLD will also hold public talks on Burma’s Union Day on February 12, as well as Bogyoke [Gen] Aung San’s birthday on February 13. February 13 is also Children’s Day, and the group will sponsor activities for children.
“The talks on February 13 will be on the history of Children’s Day and Bogyoke Aung San,” said Han Thar Myint. “Bogyoke Aung San is unforgettable, and new generations must know about him.”
T-shirts with Aung San and Suu Kyi photos will also be available, he said.
Aung San, the father of Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, was martyred and is a hero of the nation’s independence movement. He was founded the tatmadaw (the armed forces).
The NLD youth group published a news bulletin, called Ah-yoan-thit or “Dawn,” on January 4, the anniversary of Burma’s independence. The bulletin carried articles about the September crackdown.
The regime’s censorship board warned the NLD on January 14 that the publication violated the state publication act because it was printed without a press registration work permit.
NLD sources said youth members want the news bulletin to continue.
“But we will publish it under a different name, not Ah-yoan-thit,” said a member of the NLD’s information committee, who speak on condition of anonymity.