Big Demand for Suu Kyi Birthday Portrait
Thousands of portraits of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi are being snapped up in a “Free Suu Kyi” campaign launched in Burma ahead of her 64th birthday on June 19.
Fifty thousand portraits have been distributed so far in Rangoon, Mandalay, Pegu and Magway Divisions. Twenty thousand went in one day in more than 20 Mandalay townships.
“There’s been a big demand, from students to housewives, from workers to monks,” said a Mandalay activist.
Tee shirts bearing the word “Free” and a rose are also being distributed in some townships. A rose has come to be a symbol of Aung San Suu Kyi, and Burma’s censorship board sometimes bans its use in printed articles and verse.
The authorities have done nothing so far to hinder the distribution of the portraits and tee shirts, however.
Suu Kyi has spent most of her birthdays over the past 19 years in house detention. She is currently on trial in Rangoon’s Insein Prison, charged with giving shelter to an unauthorized visitor, an American who swam uninvited to her lakeside home.