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LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Following is a statement provided by Bucknell University President Brian C. Mitchell regarding the crisis in Burma:
Statement on the crisis in Burma
In the last three days, non-violent demonstrations by Buddhist monks and nuns and common people in various locations throughout the nation of Burma have been met with violent attacks by the military regime and police. After a week of increasingly large public demonstrations against the government’s fuel price increases, the regime has chosen a repressive crack-down. Given Bucknell University’s historic relationship with Burma, I must affirm the university community’s concern about what is happening and its implications for the future of the nation. (Burma is also known as Myanmar, as renamed by the military government in 1989.)
In 2008, Bucknell will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Maung Shaw Loo, Bucknell’s first international student and the first student from Burma to enroll in a U.S. university. Our relationship dates back even further, to Eugenio Kinkaid, a founding trustee and fundraiser for the university, who was also a Baptist missionary in Burma. The Burma-Bucknell tie has continued through the decades with a number of students from Burma graduating from Bucknell, and led up to a series of annual “Burma-Bucknell Weekends” from 1948-1965, when Burmese students from across the Eastern U.S. visited here to participate in a major program bringing Burmese and international leaders to campus. In recent years, the creation of the Shaw Loo Memorial and Win scholarships have given more students from Burma the opportunity to study at Bucknell and will continue to do so in future years.
On behalf of the university, I must declare our deep concern for the safety of our students’ families, and our many alumni and friends in Burma, and our hope that the international community, in keeping with its commitment to the principles of human rights, will do whatever is appropriate to press the military government to cease its attacks on and arrests of monks, nuns, demonstrators and democracy activists. We trust that this crisis might open the door for peaceful negotiation on the demonstrators’ demands for relief from extreme poverty, a more open society, and a genuinely humane future for Burma.
Contact: Office of Communications
Posted Sept. 28, 2007