Walk For Freedom

fighting-peacock-flag-burma-national_league_for_democracysvg.pngJust in time for the Summer Olympics.

I don’t know how I missed this. Channel 12 – Fox News has video. (It’s called ‘Walking for Peace’ under Fox 12 Top Story Video. No direct link that I can see.)

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They were here last Friday, Good Friday.

Two young men in their 20s, walking, from Portland, Oregon to New York City. Their plan is to get to NYC by August 8, 2008 – that is the start date of the Olympics in Beijing. It is also the 20th anniversary of the 1988 protests in Burma (Myanmar) . Their destination is the United Nations, where they are intent on delivering the petition which calls “for government reform and the release of political prisoners.”

We have already walked 560 Miles in 23 days from Portland City, Oregon state to Idaho state. We crossed through; river, mountain, storm, snow land, rain and heavy wind in 23 days. Our bodies are now more adjusted to the rigor of the walk and the cold weather. We are now ready to move on to the next steps. Our bodies were in pain during the first week we started walking. Athein was sick the first day of our journey and my brother Zaw Min Htwe suffered sore blistered feet for more than 5 days.

The LaGrande Observer had the wherewithal to catch up with these walkers and get the scoop.

Motorists on I-84 this week may have noticed a lone figure tramping along the side of the road, carrying two billowing flags.

His name is Zaw Min Htwe. He’s 27 years old, of Burmese descent, and is walking from Portland to New York City.

The cause? Publicizing the struggle for human rights in his home country.

“Every day we cannot go freely where we want to go,” Htwe explains (in perhaps the first interview conducted at the chain-up zone east of La Grande).

He’s been in the United States for about four years, he says; he left Burma as a child. But the daily struggles in the Southeast Asian country, officially called the Union of Myanmar, continue to occupy his energies.

Htwe is traveling on the “Walk For Freedom” with another activist, Athein, also forced from his country by the political situation; most of his family was killed when Burmese soldiers opened fire on a peaceful protest in 1988.

There is a web site, ‘Walk For Freedom’ to track their progress, read, and sign the petition if one is so inclined.

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