“Free Burma” picket staged in Davao City

They also burned small photocopy pictures of Myanmar junta chief Than Shwe.

Carmen Lauzon-Gatmaytan, APSOC program coordinator, said they tried to deliver a petition letter to the Japanese Consulate office but the officials did not receive it and instead referred them to their embassy in Manila.

Gatmaytan said the petition letter urged the Japanese, government to exert more diplomatic pressure against the Myanmar military junta to put an end to the political repression.

Japan is the largest donor of overseas development aid to Burma. It had earlier said it will not cut off aid to the military-run nation.
"The entire world has taken notice of the struggle of the Burmese people. This is our humble contribution," Gatmaytan said.

Similiar protest rallies will also be made in front of the consulate offices of Indonesia and Malaysia in Davao City on Tuesday. Later in the afternoon, a solidarity gathering will be held by local support groups at the Peacebuilders Cafe in Juna Subdivision in Matina.

In Manila, activists, wearing T-shirts bearing the image of the jailed Burmese leader Aung San Suuu Kyi, also burned an effigy of Than Shwe in the Makati financial district.

Gatmaytan said the entire world was shocked with the way the Myanmar military junta crushed anti-government protests resulting to the death of at least ten Burmese and a Japanese journalist last week.

"The junta ordered the beating of the monks resulting to the death of three. They are cracking down on everyone and they are not listening anymore to what the world say," Gatmaytan said.

She said they received reports from their Burmese friends who managed to send out pictures and story accounts, that the military junta had closed down all the Buddhist temples across Myanmar.

Gatmaytan said they are hoping that the United Nations will eventually withdraw their recognition of the government of the military junta.
"The junta has shown how inhumane they are. The repression should be stopped now and Burma should be set free," she said (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)