Donate 52 Merchant St Rangoon to NLD/Aung San Suu Kyi

Dec 1, 2010

I saw this for sale notice on Uncle Sam's web site -

It is the historic building 52 Merchant Street, Rangoon, Burma which was the former US Embassy site in Rangoon, now called "Yangon" by the ruling junta, which just had a sham election on Nov 7, 2010.

On Nov 13 the junta released Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the leading pro-democracy party which won the 1990 elections with a landslide victory.

This is the third time Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest in the last 20 years, but this time we fear an assassination as of Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani leader.

Suu Kyi's previous short phase of freedom ended in 2003 with an incident now known as the Depayin Massacre, in which hired thugs waylaid her entourage and attacked them physically.  Survivors testified before Congress.

In 1988, the final crackdown on the nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations happened right in front of 52 Merchant St (it is portrayed in the film Beyond Rangoon).  Burton Levin, the US Ambassador, let in some students to seek refuge in the Embassy.

Suu Kyi and her party, the NLD, which was forcibly disbanded, withdrew from participating in the obviously fake election of Nov 7.

Now after her release, she is having to work out of the old NLD headquarters which is noisy, insecure and crowded. See interview of suu Kyi  by Alex Algee of the Irrawaddy news magazine 12-2-2010.

We would like to Petition that as a sign of Support for Burmese Democracy, the US Government and Department of State donate the building 52 Merchant Street to the NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi.

In addition, it is in a prime riverfront area of Rangoon, was built in the British period and is on the Strand, as the area was formerly called.

Well know philanthropists and celebrities could also combine to buy the building from the US Government and donate it to the NLD.

Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.)

I have been studying Burma for over 2 decades and hold a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Political Economy.

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