Burmese in Norway Greet Their President with Protest

About 50 Burmese protesters had gathered in the Norwegian capital Oslo to let their visiting President Thein Sein know that his reforms are not going far enough.

As Burma’s President Thein Sein arrived in Norway on Tuesday to start his prestigious European tour as a recognized reformist leader, a small group of local Burmese gave him a more frosty welcome.

About 50 protesters had gathered on the windy streets of the Norwegian capital Oslo in front of the Hotel Continental, where Thein Sein will stay during his three-day visit, to let him know that the reforms of his quasi-civilian government are not going far enough.

“No 2008 Constitution!,” “No Civil War!,” “Stop Corruption Now!,” the gaggle of Burmese protesters could be heard shouting on a video recording of the event.

President Thein Sein is on a 12-day tour of Europe that will take him through Norway, Finland, Austria, Belgium and Italy.

The protesters urged his government, which is still dominated by Burma’s former military rulers, to end ethnic conflict in the country and amend the Constitution as it guarantees enormous power to the military.

“There can be no meaningful reform without making basic changes, such as the amendment of the 2008 Constitution,” said Myit Aye, a leading protester.

He was later able to meet with Burmese Minister of the President’s Office Soe Thein and Deputy Minister of Information Ye Htut to explain the protesters’ demands.

The Oslo event was also joined by a well-known Burmese musician Mun Awng, singing his popular revolutionary songs such as “Moment of Truth” and “Tempest of Blood.”

“We still can’t accept reforms in Burma that’s why we are here today,” Mung Awng told The Irrawaddy. “Still, there are no human rights and ethnic rights in our country. If we go along with the 2008 Constitution, our country will be under military rule for another 50 years.”

2 Responses to Burmese in Norway Greet Their President with Protest

  1. Yes,give them a bang !
    Well, head of LDC visits to developed democracies( 5 EUs) should be productive such as LEARNING:
    -how these democracies work
    -how they share political power between themselves/minorities
    -how they value human rights
    -how they have proper mindsets to exercise democratic values
    -what a REAL clean & good governance & its impact to the image of democratic society
    -above all, push out despotism (Hitler/Gen Than Shwe) from their daily life
    But even if you learn all these from these visits, you’ll start going back to the old ways( a mindset like a puppet to your boss Sr Gen Than Shwe- a well-known despot & thug,ref. Colin Powell/Wash Post), isn’t it, Hm ?
    [NB: after 2 years of your rule, Burma didn’t improve anything in this regard]

  2. This so called political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren’t still there, he’s no longer a political leader.

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