Peace protesters rally for Pan­g­long

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - SHOON NAING news­room@mm­times.com

Nearly 100 demon­stra­tors lined up in front of Ma­ha­ban­doola Park in Yan­gon yes­ter­day morn­ing and called for mil­i­taries to lay down their weapons, cease of­fen­sives and sup­port the up­com­ing 21st-cenu­try Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence.

OVER 100 peo­ple gath­ered at Ma­ha­ban­doola Park yes­ter­day morn­ing to show sup­port for the 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence and to demon­strate against on­go­ing fight­ing.

The demon­stra­tors held signs with pic­tures of peace ac­tivists and fa­mous writ­ers, in­clud­ing Thakin Ko­daw Hmaing and U Thant.

“All the cit­i­zens are long­ing for peace and they want the wars to stop im­me­di­ately so they are sup­port­ing the 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence,” said U Myat Kyaw, the spokesper­son for the demon­stra­tors. “We want to show the gov­ern­ment, the hlut­taw, the Tat­madaw, the eth­nic groups and also the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions that we sup­port peace.”

The demon­stra­tors also col­lected sig­na­tures from par­tic­i­pants and from those in the park who want to sup­port the peace process. More than 360 sig­na­tures were col­lected dur­ing the event, which ended at about 11:30am, said Daw Linkar Thit, a vol­un­teer from Tarmwe town­ship.

The event was prompted by sim­i­lar ral­lies held on July 8 in North Dagon town­ship and con­tin­ued in three nearby town­ships on July 14, ac­cord­ing to U Thein Kyi, a mem­ber of the Mass Move­ment As­so­ci­a­tion Net­work.

“I want to prove the unity of [the cit­i­zens] by col­lect­ing these sig­na­tures from the peo­ple”, said U April Nay Nay from South Okkalapa town­ship, who vol­un­teered at the event.

Demon­stra­tions in sup­port of the 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence are also be­ing held in the United States, Aus­tralia, Den­mark, the Nether­lands, Ja­pan and Thailand, though on vary­ing dates, ac­cord­ing to U Thein Kyi.

The 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence, sched­uled for the end of Au­gust, is the cor­ner­stone of the new gov­ern­ment’s peace process.

The first Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence took place in Fe­bru­ary 1947 in Shan State’s Pan­g­long be­tween the Shan, Kachin and Chin eth­nic mi­nor­ity lead­ers and Bo­gyoke Aung San, who was head of the in­terim Burmese gov­ern­ment and is also the late fa­ther of State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

PHOTO: AUNG MYIN YE ZAW

Photo: Aung Myin Ye Zaw

Pro-peace protestors rally in Yan­gon yes­ter­day.

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