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    » 06/27/2008, 00.00

    MYANMAR

    Hero Aung San stricken from the school books



    Burmese authorities say they want to bring the manuals up to international standards. But the intention is political: to weaken the influence of the democratic movement on young people. The general is the father of "Lady" Aung San Suu Kyi.

    Yangon (AsiaNews) - The writings and speeches of the hero of independence, General Aung San, are disappearing from the textbooks of high schools in Myanmar.  The news comes from the agency  Democratic Voice of Burma.  But rather than having educational purposes, the initiative seems to be motivated by a clear political intention to weaken the influence of the democratic movement on young people.

    Aung San - who is respected and remembered all over the country for his role in the achievement of independence - is also the father of democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for years.  Together with the speeches of the general, the poems of Thakhin Kodaw Hmaing, known as "the architect of peace", will also be banned from the classroom.

    Officially, the military regime justifies the initiative as an adaptation of the curricula to meet international standards. M. Nyein Khet Khet, a former lecturer at the University of Yangon, maintains that the junta wants to limit the influence of Suu Kyi's democratic movement on the new generations.  "Both general Aung San and Thakhin Kodaw Hmaing's words", explains the former teacher, "are about patriotism, nationalism, freedom, democracy and rights".  Concepts that are too "dangerous" for the military oligarchy that has ruled Myanmar for more than 40 years, and intends to continue doing so.

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    See also

    15/01/2009 MYANMAR
    Mandalay, student activist sentenced to 104 years in prison
    The accusation is of promoting "political activities" and meeting with a dissident group in exile. The junta is releasing six activists arrested in December during a demonstration. Htet Htet Oo Wai, the woman who had asked for permission to pay homage to Aung San Suu Kyi, remains in prison.

    19/07/2007 MYANMAR
    A referendum to approve the new constitution, almost ready
    The final round of meetings on the new constitution, under discussion since 1993, has begun before it is put to a public vote. But the military will retain decisive power.

    04/08/2008 MYANMAR
    Democracy and human rights on agenda of UN envoy in Myanmar
    The representative of the United Nations will meet with the leaders of the ruling military junta, and with a delegation of Buddhist monks, the force behind the revolt in September 2007, put down with violence. No confirmation of a possible face-to-face meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

    07/04/2008 MYANMAR
    For the Burmese junta, there is a "risk of attacks", but this is only a pretext
    One month from the constitutional referendum, the state newspapers launch a new campaign by the junta to defame the supporters of democracy in the country, who are described as "terrorists and anarchists". Worrying "exclusions" in the text of the new constitution.

    28/01/2009 THAILAND - INDONESIA
    Bangkok denies refugee status to Rohingya
    According to the Thai government, they are "illegal immigrants" who have no right to political asylum, and it is ordering that they be repatriated. Over the past two months, more than 550 refugees are believed to have drowned after being abandoned in international waters. On January 24, Indonesia refused entry visas for 193 refugees.



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