US City Declares August 8 ‘Burma Day’

By LALIT K JHA / NEW YORK

Thursday,June 12,2008

Expressing solidarity with the people of Burma and their relentless struggle to fight for democratic rights, a university city in California has decided to observe August 8 as “Burma Day.”

Although Berkeley—located in northern California to the east of the San Francisco Bay—does not have much of a Burmese population, the city council at its meeting on Tuesday, June 10, unanimously passed a series of resolutions expressing strong solidarity with the people of Burma.

In the US Congress, the city is represented by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a well-known advocate of the restoration of democracy in Burma at Capitol Hill.

Commending the people of Burma for 46 years of struggle against a brutal dictatorship and honoring the 20th anniversary of the 1988 popular uprising, the Berkeley City Council in its resolution declared August 8 as “Burma Day.”

Under Berkeley’s new resolution, on August 8, every year, the city of Berkeley will raise the national flag of Burma and the city will continue to raise the Burmese national flag until a “genuine democracy” is restored in Burma. The flag for this ceremony will be provided by the Burmese American Democracy Alliance.

“By these actions, the Council of the City of Berkeley will help promote the 8/8/88 commemorations held by the Burmese American Democratic Alliance, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and other allies,” said the resolution, which was tabled by the Peace and Justice Commission of the city council.

Berkeley City Council also thanked Congresswoman Barbara Lee for writing to US President George W Bush, urging him not to attend the Beijing Olympics because of its pro-junta policies on Burma.

The resolution further urged Lee and senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to do whatever they could to ensure aid is delivered to Burma, with or without the junta’s permission, using any means possible except military invasion or force.

Copies of the resolution are to be sent to Liu Qi, the president of the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee; and its main sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Visa, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung, Manulife Financial, Atos Origin and Omega.

The letter to these companies will communicate Berkeley’s opposition to human rights violations by the Chinese government and its opposition to the political cover that these companies give the Chinese government through their sponsorship of the Olympics in China.

source:Irrawaddy.org

 

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