Monday, May 26, 2008

Your Call 052608 Pacific Connections: Burma Edition

What can Bay Area residents do to help Burmese victims of the cyclone and the military junta? On the next Your Call we replay a show recorded May 20th speaking with Burmese exiles across the Pacific Rim. Burma has been under military rule for more than 40 years and last year's Saffron Revolution was brutally crushed. The May 2 landfall of Cyclone Nargis added an unprecedented natural disaster to decades of suffering and neglect. What is the state of the opposition movement after so many years of repression? What forces in and outside Burma could end the decades long nightmare and how can Bay Area residents help? On the Next Your Call with Rose Aguilar and you.

Koko Lay in San Francisco
Koko Lay was one of the organizers behind a popular people's uprising in Burma on August 8, 1988. Known as the 8-8-88 protests, the Burmese military killed more than 3,000 students and civilians. Koko Lay fled first to Thailand and then to the U.S. He is the West Coast director of the National Council of Union of Burma, the government in exile and a Master's student in the Social Change Design and Conflict Resolution program at San Francisco State.

U Kovida in San Francisco
A Burmese monk and leader of last year's Saffron Revolution against the military junta that has ruled Burma for 20 years. U Kovida led a protest march to the house of imprisoned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. After the military assault on the monks and civilians in September of last year, U Kovida fled first to Thailand and then to the United States.

Debbie Stothard in Thailand
Founder of Altsean, a Burmese advocacy and training organization training based in Thailand.

Dr. Tint Swe in New Dehli
Elected to the Burmese parliament in the May 1990 elections. They were the first since the coup in 1962. The elections were won overwhelmingly by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, winning 392 of the 492 seats.

Click to Listen: Pacific Connections: Burma Edition