Re post 19th June
Athein walks eastbound on US 224 Wednesday evening. He and his friend are making a 3,000-mile trip from Oregon to New York to spread a message about freedom and peace.
Athein walks eastbound on US 224 Wednesday evening. He and his friend are making a 3,000-mile trip from Oregon to New York to spread a message about freedom and peace.’
With each footstep, Athein and Zaw Min Htwe are spreading a message of freedom and peace.
Athein, a 34-year-old who originally is from Burma, said he and his 27-year-old friend are raising awareness about genocide, torture and other human rights violations in his homeland.
“This is a terrible situation,” he said about Burma’s conditions. “We want peace and freedom.”
Athein said he started walking March 1 from Portland, Ore., and plans to arrive at the United Nations Security Council Aug. 8, the 20th anniversary of violence in Burma. He said he wants peacekeeping intervention.
“If it doesn’t work (in New York), I will walk to Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Athein said he was 14 years old in 1988, when the war in Burma began. He said he lived in the jungle from 1988 to 1997, and his brother and sister died in the war.
He relocated to Thailand before arriving in the United States in 2001, and left behind his wife and three children to make the trip across the U.S.
Athein and Zaw Min Htwe are walking at least 30 miles a day as they head toward the United Nations. Wednesday evening, their travels led them to the Tiffin area.
Athein said he had crossed seven states and walked about 2,500 of the trip’s 3,000 miles as of Wednesday evening. He was walking eastbound on US 224 as Zaw Min Htwe looked for a hotel room for the night.
Athein carried the U.S. flag and a flag bearing a peacock, which he said is a symbol of democracy and freedom.
A Web site documenting the men’s journey contains a letter they wrote to the secretary-general of the United Nations.
“We urgently send this petition to you from Iowa because of the critical situations currently going on in Burma. As you are aware, people in Burma under the military regime have been losing democracy and human rights for twenty years,” they wrote.
They also wrote, “On behalf of the people of Burma, we urge you to push the Security Council to immediately make a strong resolution in order to save the people in Burma from various troubles that they are sadly experiencing now and to stop the inhuman acts of the military regime.”
On the Web:
Walk for Freedom:
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