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Aucklanders invited to candlight vigil for Burma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12 May 2008


Aucklanders invited to join candlight vigil for cyclone victims

A candlelight vigil for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar) is being held at Auckland University on Wednesday, May 14 from 6.00pm-8.00pm.

Organised by students from the Burma Support Group at Auckland University, the candlelight vigil is an opportunity for Aucklanders to come together to show their support for the millions of people affected by the cyclone, which devastated towns and villages in Burma on May 3.

“New Zealanders have been generously giving donations to help the victims but this peaceful candlight vigil is powerful too,” said organiser Tinmama Oo, an Auckland university student whose family arrived in New Zealand as refugees from Burma 8 years ago.

More than 100,000 people are believed to have been killed by the cyclone and hundreds of thousands more made homeless. An estimated 40% of those affected are children. There are fears the death toll will rise sharply amid continuing failure by the Burmese authorities to get aid to those who need it.

“Thousands of people are at risk of disease, thousands are starving, thousands are displaced, and international aid agencies are trying so hard to get into Burma to help the victims, but the regime has repeatedly rejected humanitarian workers to coming into the country,”said Tinmama.

“We invite everyone, especially young people, to join us at Auckland University quad on Wednesday evening to commemorate the dead and pray for the victims of the cyclone,” she said. People will be invited to write messages of support for the people of Burma, followed by the candle-lighting ceremony.


ENDS

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