DAVE LONDRES / Observer-Dispatch
Burmese refugee Athein speaks with Compass director Shelly Callahan at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees Wednesday, August 27, 2008.
GateHouse News Service
27 August 2008 - UTICA
Burmese refugee Athein visited Utica after a 3,000-mile walk from Portland, Ore., to the United Nations building in New York City.
Athein, who said he did not have a surname, and friend Zaw Min Htwe stopped here Wednesday because of the large Burmese population, he said. His next stop: Washington, D.C.
“We are going to walk toward peaceful freedom and to witness to Burma,” he said, referring to the widespread persecution and lack of freedom reported in that country, now known as Myanmar.
Peter Vogelaar, executive director of Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, said that the Burmese man’s walk was especially significant now because at this time last year, the Saffron Revolution began in Burma.
The Saffron Revolution is the name for massive protests by Burmese citizens, and comes from the saffron-colored robes worn by the thousands of monks involved in the protests.
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