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Petition to President Barack Obama asking for help to rebuild the historic Burmese Student Union Building in Rangoon.

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Dear Mr. President,

We are students, former students and citizens from Burma, and would like to request your  help to rebuild our historic Rangoon University Student Union Building, which was destroyed by the military dictatorship government on July 8, 1962.  We carefully listened to the remarkable speech that you gave to us, when you visited Rangoon, Burma on November 19, 2012, and spoke at our beloved Rangoon Arts and Science University (RASU).  Your speech inspired and moved us, and also gave us a vision for our future.  Thank you so very much for your kind understanding and for your encouragement. 

For the past 50 years, the student voices of RASU have been silent, since their gathering place for debate and discussion was bombed by the Burmese Army on that fateful day.   Our new generation of students has no place to gain the experiences of interacting with each other and developing organizational skills, such as how to talk together, plan together, organize, and work together as a group.   Without a student government (Student Union) for a discussion place and offices, Burma will not develop any future leaders of a “civil society,” and so its governance will remain in the hands of authoritarian rulers.  During the 1930s, when the foundations for Burma’s struggle for independence from colonial rule were being laid, General Aung San emerged as a student leader at RASU and attended many discussions that were held in the RASU Student Union Building.

Today the site of the former RASU Union Building is an empty space overgrown with wild grass and bushes.  We would like to request your government to fund the rebuilding of our Union, which symbolizes our forgotten hopes and rights for freedom and a better future for our beloved homeland.   We need a structure where students can form their own organizations and participate in a student government of their institution. We believe that the rebuilding of our historic Student Union Building could be a key to reconciliation between the military backed governments and the students.  We believe the current U Thein Sein government would be willing to accept an offer by the US government to help rebuild our Student Union Building, just as the 9/11 twin towers building in New York City is being rebuilt.  A rebuild RASU Student Union Building would serve as a historical monument that would symbolize for the Burmese students, and the nation, that Americans are supporting our freedom and democracy that sprang forth from this historical university.  We hope that the United States can start this monument to freedom and democracy at RASU, and then we will organized the people and start it in other universities after the completion of the rebuilding at RASU.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to help us and we would be very honored to hear from you.

From the bottom of our hearts,

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