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Friday September 28, 2007

3,000 rally at Myanmar Embassy (updated)

MYT 5:35:22 PM

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KUALA LUMPUR: About 3,000 refugees, migrant workers and activists, all dressed in red, marched to the Myanmar Embassy here to hand over a memorandum urging the regime to settle the current crisis in the country. 

Myanmar protesters and supporters offer prayers outside the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur during a demonstration Friday. - AP
Led by a group called All Burma Democratic Force (ABDF), the peaceful demonstration started at about 9.30am and ended at noon Friday. 

The ABDF is an umbrella establishment of different organisations of different races and religions.  

ABDF vice-chairman Mohammad Sadek said the group's secretary-general Aung Kyaw Moe handed over a two-page memorandum to the embassy’s minister-counsellor Win Myint at 10am. 

Joining the demonstration were several other groups including the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organisation Malaysia, National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) Malaysia and Zomi National Congress Malaysia. 

Several local NGOs also came out in support of the Myanmar people. Among them were Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Youth for Change, Amnesty International and Parti Sosialis Malaysia. 

Protesters were seen carrying placards condemning the regime, with words like "stop torture", "Evil Junta - Don't Want", "Don't Kill Our Monks" and "Stop Fire". 

On standby were some 150 policemen and personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit. 

A police officer, pointing out that the group did not have a permit to organise the demonstration, said they were nonetheless allowed to proceed as long as it was a peaceful demonstration with no untoward incidences. 

According to ABDF's Mohammad, who has been in the country for more than a year, the memorandum also urged the United Nations Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to examine the deteriorating political situation in Myanmar. 

He said, the ABDF encouraged China and Russia to warn the regime that both countries would support the UN Security Council's full consideration of the situation as well as adopt the council's resolution. 

"Therefore we also marched to both embassies while shouting 'we want democracy','' he added. 

He said they also wanted the regime to release all political prisoners including democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, and to alleviate economic hardship and introduce serious reforms that ensured human rights, peace, justice and freedom for all races and religions. 

Among the protesters was a mother of two Moe Moe, 40, who has been in the country for the past 13 years. 

The seamstress brought along her sons Daren and Kang, aged six and one year old respectively, to show support for her countrymen. 

Also seen were a few senior citizens. The protesters also pasted newspaper clippings on the situation reported by the local media on their shirts.  

The demonstration caused slight traffic congestion at Jalan Ampang, with some people slowing down their vehicles to see what the commotion was all about.  

Related stories:
PM: Asean's constructive engagement with junta has failed
Asean express "revulsion" at Myanmar's violent repression
Malaysians in Myanmar, send us your stories, photos

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