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Korean Lookalike Caged in Suu Kyi Trial Protest

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Korean Lookalike Caged in Suu Kyi Trial Protest

Outpouring of emotion as Thai activists reenact Aung San Suu Kyi imprisonment

Korean activist Soojin Jeon reenacting Aung San Suu Kyi’s imprisonment in Insein Prison during a protest near the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Monday. ©2009 Bidhayak Das

Published 2009-05-19 10:45 (KST)

Bangkok — Even as Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was facing fresh trial for alleged violating security laws by “allowing” US national John Yettaw to spend two days at her residence, far away in the Thailand capital on Monday, there were emotive scenes as a young Korean activist — a near look alike of the Burmese icon — forced people to think of what could be the untold reality.

Dressed in a traditional Burmese Sarong, Soojin Jeon, caught the attention of the world media as she spent moments inside an iron cage (representing a prison) during a demonstration to protest the new charges facing Aung San Suu Kyi, in front of the Burmese Embassy near the 132 Sathorn Nua Road in Bangkok.

It was almost as if the Burmese leader was at a very comfortable proximity to the people and she could air her feelings to the people and the media. In fact many in the crowd that gathered for this Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB) wanted to keep it that way.

“Why not? If this brings more attention and the focus on the Burmese leader who has been tricked by the military junta that is doing everything to falsely implicate her so that she is not able to participate in the elections that is due in 2010,” is how Somsri Hananuntasuk, a human rights activist, described the somewhat emotional moments at Sathorn Nua.

In fact, it was a pleasant surprise for Jeon when people called her “Suu Kyi.” Perhaps it will be a moment that she will always treasure.

©2009 Bidhayak Das

©2009 Bidhayak Das

Her replies to the curious reporters from different news channels and newspapers were simple and precise.

“I want people and governments all over the world to realize that it is time to put an end to the junta’s harsh ways against Aung San Suu Kyi and all the democracy loving people of Burma.”

Though she was conscious of the fact that she resembles the Burmese leader and thus was a centre of the attraction, she displayed a strong resolution to remain calm and continue to help bring the protest to the media.

In fact, demonstrations and protests against the Burmese junta’s charges against Aug San Suu Kyi are being organised in different parts of the world, but given the fact that as a key member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) — besides being a neighbouring country — Thailand’s support for democracy in Burma is crucial.

Though by convention ASEAN members do not interfere in other nations’ internal affairs, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday raised concerns about Aung San Suu Kyi’s health and the country’s long delayed “roadmap” to democracy.

In recent days Thailand’s government has stepped up efforts to press the Burmese junta on the details concerning the US citizen’s arrival at Aung San Suu Kyi’s house. Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Promoya has gone on record saying, “What we would like to know is what the truth is, what the intent of the US man is, how could he pass the security guards surrounding Mrs. Suu Kyi’s house, who is behind this and is there some sort of conspiracy?”

In fact, this is the second time that the Yettaw managed to swim across to the Burmese leader’s lakeside house. He attempted to meet her last year, too.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer Kyi Win has been quoted in the media as saying that Yettaw had come to meet her in November last year. However, he was refused and asked to leave. The matter was reported to the authorities.

Protesters hold up banners and placards during a protest near the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Monday. The demonstration was organised by human rights groups from Thailand.

©2009 Bidhayak Das

Indian foreign student Bisdak Das is in the International Relations (NGO studies) program at SungKongHoe University, Seoul.

http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=385246&rel_no=1

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 19, 2009 at 3:00 am

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