Written by U Ne Oo on 2004-06-10

[To those Burmese activists who live in Australia and like to give a piece of your mind to the Foreign Minister, the fax number is (02) 6261-1311. -- U Ne Oo.]

Dr Ne Oo

18 Shannon Place

Adelaide SA 5000

9 June 2004

Hon. Alexander Downer

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Mr Downer

I am forwarding you following Associated Press news article, which reporting some young Burmese students in Rangoon last weekend were distributing leaflets to the public with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written in Burmese Language.

I have specifically send you this news article only to remind you that your government had initiated a meaningless Human Rights traninig program in Burma in 1999. Noting that your government's ill-considered and stupid training program needs to be clearly contrasted with the very brave act of these young students who try to educate Burmese public about the Human Rights.

Yours sincerely

(U Ne Oo)

Copy: Prof. David Kinley. Monarsh University.

Sunday May 30, 8:35 PM

Scattered protests mark anniversary of attack on Myanmar pro-democracy leader

YANGON (AP) - Opponents of Myanmar's military government staged scattered protests Sunday to mark the anniversary of a bloody attack on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters.

Two small groups of youths handed out leaflets containing the text of a U.N. human rights declaration in at least two spots in the capital Yangon, witnesses said. But elsewhere in the city, the anniversary passed unobserved.

In Mandalay, the country's second biggest city, about 100 people attended a religious ceremony to honor the victims of last year's attack. Mandalay is about 560 kilometers (350 miles) north of Yangon.

Public protests of any sort are extremely rare in military-controlled Myanmar, and are usually quashed within minutes. Two arrests were reported Sunday.

At least 10 people are thought to have died in the May 30, 2003 incident when a mob, widely believed to have been organized by the military, ambushed a convoy carrying Suu Kyi on a political tour of north Myanmar.

Some witnesses reported there may have been as many as 70 dead. Suu Kyi escaped the scene, but was taken into custody soon afterward. The government, which called the incident a clash between villagers and Suu Kyi's followers, immediately launched a crackdown on her National League for Democracy party, arresting top leaders and closing party offices.

Sunday's religious service in Mandalay was the only one known to explicitly refer to the May 30 incident. About 100 people offered food to monks at a Buddhist monastery in memory of those killed, said witnesses contacted by telephone.

The ceremony went undisturbed by security officials, apparently because of its religious nature, said the witnesses, who asked not to be named.

In Yangon, two young men, whose identities were not known, were taken away by security officials after distributing pamphlets at the capital's Hledan market.

The pamphlets contained the Myanmar-language text of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fundamental document defining minimal rights and duties in modern society.

The two youths were dressed in white shirts and a style of longyi, or sarong, usually worn by members of Suu Kyi's party. However, it was unclear if they were affiliated with the party, whose leaders said they planned no activities for Sunday's anniversary.

Four youths also distributed leaflets at the capital's Tamwe township, but further details of their action were not available.

Letter to Mr Downer re: Human Rights Traning Program in Burma