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Dissident calls for 'people power'

Myanmar journalist wants movements worldwide to emulate 'Arab spring'

Dissident calls for 'people power'
Ludu Sein Win
Mike MacLachlan, London
United Kingdom

May 18, 2011

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Myanmar dissident Ludu Sein Win has sent a message calling for a worldwide “people power” movement for freedom and justice.

“If we can organize different groups to coordinate their efforts and resources for the common cause, we can even challenge the heavens,” he wrote.

The message was sent to the British-based rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), whose representatives met him recently in Yangon.

Ludu Sein Win, 70, a leading journalist, spent 13 years in prison in the 1960s and 70s. He was a founding member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Dear friends of peace, freedom and justice around the world,” he wrote. “I am sending this message to you to request your kind help in fighting against tyrants all over the world.

“Right now, the brave people of Libya, Syria, Yemen and other Middle East countries have risen up against brutal dictators. They urgently need help from the world.

“We Burmese people also have been continuously fighting for our freedom for 50 years and still we are hopelessly far away from our destination. During the course of this long journey thousands of innocent souls have been slain.

“Right now more than 2,000 people, especially young students, monks and women are still in the prisons. They need your help.”

He added: “More than half of the world is living under various dictatorships, deprived of all their basic human rights and suffering unbelievable miseries.”

He called on individuals and organizations around the world to unite in support of freedom.

“I would like to ask all people of the world to unite and form ‘People Power World Wide’ … to work for peace, freedom and justice. All civic and religious organizations, rights groups, aid groups, advocacy groups should co-ordinate their activities for our common cause.”

“Ludu Sein Win is a courageous campaigner for freedom who has taken grave risks in order to speak out,” said CSW’s East Asia team leader, Benedict Rogers..

“In sending this message he is taking yet another risk, and we owe it to him, the people of Burma and people suffering oppression and persecution throughout the world to listen to it and respond.”

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