Myanmar Citizens Protest In Oklahoma

Saturday, October 6th 2007, 8:01 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa church organized a small but vocal demonstration on Saturday against the regime in Myanmar. News On 6 reporter Chris Wright was at the protest and reports many in attendance were afraid to go on camera because of relatives still in Myanmar.

The protestors say they were lucky to make it to Oklahoma and hope their fellow citizens will soon be able to enjoy the freedom they do.

It may not have been as loud or as well attended as other rallies across the globe, but those who gathered in front of Harvest Church at 3707 E. 101st Street in Tulsa were just as passionate about their cause.

"It's hard for you to imagine, but we've been oppressed for more than 50 years. We even don't have right to choose our own leader," said Suan Zalian with the Burma Christian Mission.

Suan Zalian, a Tulsa pastor, organized the rally. He has been in Tulsa since 1994, when he left Burma, which is now called Myanmar, to study at ORU. He says there are about 80 Burmese citizens living in Tulsa. About a dozen attended the rally. All were shocked by the images recently broadcast around the world of Buddhist monks walking arm in arm to protest the country's military dictatorship, and the ensuing government crackdown.

"You see it on the Internet and everywhere, you see the killing of people. It's been very very painful for all of us," said Vung Za Mann.

In addition to Burmese citizens, Saturday's protest also attracted those sympathetic to the cause, and inspired by the imagery.

"We are here to support people that are living in Tulsa from Burma, that we are behind you and we do care for you, we have feeling for your country," said Ashish Massey.

While arousing worldwide anger, the protests have also given Tulsa's Burmese population hope. Pastor Zalian says the military regime has always suppressed protests, but until now, the world has turned a blind eye. He doesn't believe that will happen again.

"I'm so glad that today the dictator’s government in Burma, they will never ever seal or hide what they have been," said Suan Zalian.

Pastor Zalian is raising money for a missionary trip to Burma. You can donate by visiting his web site,

Watch the video: Church Holds Myannar Protest