Peace protesters rally for Panglong
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.
Pro-peace protestors rally in Yangon yesterday.