DVB Multimedia Group

Activists mark U Thant’s centenary birthday

Jan 23, 2009 (DVB), Political activists inside and outside Burma marked the centenary of former United Nations secretary-general U Thant's birth on 22 January and called for today's UN leaders to take action on Burma.

At the National League for Democracy headquarters in Rangoon, around 50 NLD youth members attended a talk on the life of U Thant led by senior party members Win Tin and Khin Maung Swe, Rangoon division youth leader Aye Naing said.

"Win Tin started the discussion by talking about the peaceful nature of U Thant and his love of tradition. I read the biography of U Thant," he said.

The youth leader also urged current UN leaders to honour the achievements of U Thant by urgently working to solve the political crisis in Burma.

"U Thant dealt with many problems in his work for world peace , problems in Congo, the Cuban crisis, North Yemen and many more," Aye Naing said.

"Similarly, the current UN secretary-general and other officials should sort out the problem of Burma."

A ceremony marking the U Thant's centenary birthday was also held in Malaysia by members of the NLD-Liberated Area in Malaysia.

"We mark the event because the military junta has been trying to wipe out the memory of the Burmese and world leader U Thant from the consciousness of the people of Burma, and because we want to sing his praises," branch chairman Kyaw Kyaw said.

U Thant was born in 1909 in Pantanaw township in lower Burma to Phoe Hnint and Nan Thaw, the oldest of four children.

He was appointed the third secretary-general of the UN in 1961, serving two terms before retiring on 31 December 1971.

He died of lung cancer in New York on 25 November 1974.

The UN is planning to issue commemorative stamps in honour of U Thant on 6 February.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw