Photo: Si Thu at Atlanta GA, 6 Dec’07
Kyaw Sithu, a Burmese political refugee forced to flee his motherland after 1988 democracy uprising, will be in Los Angeles on December 16 as part of his North America Campaign for Free Burma Road Trip. We will be welcoming and joining him in LA as we drive around in strategic places of LA to raise awareness of horrific situation in Burma. We encourage everyone to join our caravan on Sunday December 16 at LaPuente Temple at 9.30 a.m . To quote SiThu, “Free Burma is definitely possible, only when people do their part to set her free”.
The “Driving for Burma” initiative was aimed to raise awareness of humanitarian crisis and brutality going on in military-ruled Burma. His solo driving journey started out on December 1, 2007 at Toronto, Canada where he lives. His car, emblazoned with the word “Free Burma”, pictures of Burma’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi among others, turns many heads as he drives through major cities in the U.S as part of a 15,436 kilometre drive across America stopping off at key cities to address politicians, dignitaries, campaigners and Burmese exiles.
His first stop was at Washington D.C where he met and received encouragement from Dr. Sein Win, Prime Minister of the National Coalition Government Union of Burma (NCGUB) and he stopped to demonstrate outside the Burmese Embassy. From there, he drove west across the country to LA, making his return from LA to Canada along the Pacific coast through Vancouver and finally arriving in Toronto.
No one in the Burmese community has ever done this and SiThu finds the campaign challenging with his limited finances and yet rewarding at the same time as the driving campaign has picked up media attention on Burma’s ongoing human rights abuses. The most challenging part is he only has one month to do the whole trip which will end on January 1, 2008.
Meanwhile his internet blog, updated daily and detailing the progress of the journey is proving extremely popular with over 5131 hits (3878 International visitors) and over 200s well wishers leaving messages of support.
“This is amazing!” wrote Jason from UK “talk about drive and enthusiasm! This guy really is going the extra mile to stand up for what he believes in”, and Poeziwa said, “Following the Buddhist Monks protest in September and their subsequent brutal suppression it is vital that the international community maintains the pressure on the Military junta, who have ruled Burma since 1962 to finally embrace democracy and respect human rights.” Said Jeg for the Burma Global Action Network who are supporting the drive.
Si Thu is available for interviews along the route of the journey.
Si ThuCell: (240) 750-9571 [US]
Web blog: http://drivingforburma.blogspot.com/