Monday, October 31, 2011

Save the Irrawaddy: set an oil lamp adrift

Monday, 31 October 2011 22:22 Ko Pauk

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Irrawaddy Freedom Network (IFN) will hold ceremonies to set afloat oil lamps across Burma on November 10 – Tazaungdine Full Moon Day – to raise public awareness to protect Burmese rivers and streams.

Thaung Aye, an IFN official, said that simultaneous ceremonies would start at 7 p.m.

“Some rivers and streams have became extinct,” he said. “So we need to protect them all from harm.  We want people to take care of rivers and creeks. We want people to keep watchful eyes on rivers and creeks.”

Ceremonies will take place in Mandalay, Nyaungoo, Hinthada, Pyay, Pantanaw, Maubin, all located along the Irrawaddy River, and Monywa, located on the bank of the Chindwin River. All towns along the Salween and Sittaung rivers have been asked to hold similar ceremonies.

“Our main aim is that we don’t want any dams be built along the Irrawaddy River. As fruitful as our efforts are, that is just our initial effort,” he said.

The Irrawaddy Freedom Network was organized after Burma's Electric Power 1 Minister Zaw Min’s controversial speech on the Myitsone Dam project, saying the government would not halt the project. A short while later, the government postponed the project.

Comedian Zarganar, who was released from prison on Thadingyut Full Moon Day on October 12, and others lighted oil lamps and set them adrift on the Irrawaddy River on October 24, in hope that all political prisoners would be released.

The IFN comprises 74-generation students, 88-generation students and young people.

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