Walk For Freedom

Athein & Zaw Min Htwe will march 3,000 Miles from Portland,Oregon to New York UN office at 1st March 2008

About

Aung San Suu Kyi her mother was ambassador to India and her father was Aung San the leader of Burma (1915-1947)

Suu Kyi won the election but was denied the office by the military government.

She won Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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Click Map to Burmese language blog


Zaw Min Htwe is one of the 1988 student new generation, he is 27 years old and his father was a member of the A.B.S.D.F ( All Burma Student Democratic Font) Regiment 216 in 1988 Thai- Burma border.

In 1988 Zaw min Htwe was 7 years old and he didn’t know about the whole story of Burma but he knew thousands of thousand students and people died at that time when the Burma terrorist military junta shoot innocent people down.

He could not completed his school, he went as far as high school year 7 when he left the country because of the political situation. He was a very active freedom for Burma and hunger strike supporter.

This time Zaw Min Htwe wanted to join on Walk For Freedom and also he wants to write his story for Burma people.

Zaw says ” I could catch a plane to New York or post the Petition letter, I know its easy. I have my brothers and sisiters I have a good parents with me, I have a house to live and I have enough foods to stay on this land USA. Living in this country life style is 9 time out of 10 better than Burma, I can’t stand sitting in living room watching TV and forget everything past life. I know this is not right, I have to help Burmese people from my side the best as I can, this walking is not for me and I am not showing myself who I am on the road everyday but I am showing why we are walking on long road , where we are from and why we have to do this for our country. Realtively, people left in my home country, they have no freedom , they can’t do anything I am free to do here. We all must help people of Burma , please help us”

Zaw Min Htwe

This is our regiment camp based on Thai-Burma border, this mountain completely covered with bush land.
After we left home for Democracy in Burma, this is where I grew up with my brothers on this place more than 10 years.This is not someone writing  fiction, this is true story, many life’s had been buried for Democracy and Burma freedom but this is not finished, we have to do and this is our duty to do . If I die new generation will take our place and they will take our duty till our country get freedom.
It was for so many reasons that I left my regiment and my friends, but this does not mean that I ran away from my country. I have always wanted to do something for my country, but I don’t know what the right way is for me to do this. Before, I believed we needed international help for Burma, but I haven’t seen any help from the world.  There are only two choices left for every life in Burma, become a fugitive and rebel against their law, or obey their rules and stay with their ruling one-power government.
I already donated my life for my country, and now I have decided to do something that nobody else would do. Maybe someone has already done this, maybe this is the first time, but I am not crazy and I am going to do this until my job is done. I have decided to march to New York from my city.  I live in Portland, Oregon, about 2,500 miles east of New York by plane.  Walking this journey will be at least 3,000 miles.  It won’t be easy to get there like sitting on a plane is, I know and understand that I will be walking for more than six months, and I don’t know what I will have to face on my journey.

Athein

A world away from America, the Southeast Asian nation of Burma made headlines in 2007 when Buddhist monks rose up in protest against the ruling military junta. The Burmese junta responded with violence and thousands of monks have since disappeared. While some fled for their lives, many others have been tortured, jailed, or killed. Oppression in Burma began long before last year’s protests, though. The military took over the government in 1962 and has ruled with an iron fist ever since. Over 650,000 people have been displaced and 3,000 villages have been destroyed by the junta, which targets civilians in fighting against rebel groups. Army battalions routinely confiscate land from locals to use for their own profit. Soldiers rape women with impunity and forced labor is common. The junta has been destroying the environment to mine gold, jade, rubies, and to build oil pipelines and dams. They are destroying the peoples’ lives and land and keeping the profit for themselves. With an estimated 450,000 soldiers, Burma has one of the largest military forces in the world, and more than one-third of the national budget is spent on it. The government only uses this force against its own citizens. Nonetheless, countries like Russia and China continue to sell the Burmese junta the weapons that are the tool of their oppression. In 1988, Athein was just 15 years old. After participating in the August ‘88 protests, he found himself marked by the military government and in danger. With no other choice, he left his home and his family in northeast Burma and joined the multitude of student leaders who were fleeing for their lives. He traveled on foot through the jungles of Burma to the Thai border, where he joined other students and found shelter with the Karen National Union, an ethnic rebel group. The students formed the All Burma Students Democratic Front, and continued their struggle against the junta from the border regions of Burma. Like many other students, Athein eventually made his way to the United States as a refugee – where he continues to struggle for change in his homeland, and works tirelessly to raise awareness about the atrocities the Burmese junta is committing against its own people. In March, 2008, Athein will step out from Portland on a journey to the United Nations offices in New York. Like thousands of Burmese who have traveled on foot through mountains and jungles in search of refuge, Athein will walk across the United States in a call to action to save Burma. Along the way he will speak to people in towns across America, telling the story of millions of oppressed Burmese, and collecting signatures on a petition to present to the United Nations. On August 8, 2008, China will hold the opening ceremony of the Beijing winter olympics, an event symbolic of global cooperation and peace. Athein will present his petition to the UN on this day – 20 years to the date that the Burmese military gunned down 3,000 demonstrators in the now infamous 8-8-88 protests.

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