NLD gears up to mark Suu Kyi’s birthday

Agence France Presse

Yangon, June 18:

Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) spent today preparing to celebrate the 60th birthday of their detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi as international pressure mounted for the democracy icon’s release from house arrest. The preparations follow similar events around the world highlighting Aung San Suu Kyi and her country’s plight, ranging from a small celebration of Myanmar culture in Thailand to calls for her freedom and birthday greetings from world leaders including US President George W Bush. While Mynamar’s military rulers have deemed July 3 as national women’s day, the NLD maintains Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday tomorrow is the right time to honour women and the democracy leader, who was spend nearly 10 years under house arrest, National League for Democracy members said. Among tomorrow’s highlights will be the release of 10 doves, representing peace, 60 coloured balloons for each year of Aung San Suu Kyi’s life and a letter from NLD members urging dialogue with the ruling junta. One balloon will feature a card with the words “may Daw Aung San Suu Kyi be freed” and anyone returning both items to the NLD’s headquarters will get 10,000 kyats ($11) cash, NLD women’s committee member Lai Lai told AFP. Ten Buddhist monks are scheduled to perform religious rites before offering food alms prior to the birthday celebrations. “The number 10 in Burmese also means either save or salvage, and conveys our desire to have all political prisoners, including Daw Suu Kyi, saved from their present predicament,” Lai Lai said.