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About

The Little Burmese Tea Shop exists to promote international awareness about systematic gross human rights violations and international crimes that continue to be carried out on an enormous scale by the military Government of Burma.

It aims to encourage and support people to campaign for an end to all human rights abuses in Burma and the restoration of real democracy.

You can find out more about the human rights problems of Burma and what you can do to join the campaign by exploring this website.

In Burma it is an imprisonable offence to talk about prodemocracy politics, at our tea shop it is actively encouraged.

Tea shops are an intrinsic part of Burmese life – people meet in tea shops throughout the country to speak in hushed tones of the political situation in Burma. “Tea plays a very important part in the social life of Burma. A pot of green tea refilled again and again, is the hub of many an animated circle of conversation.….Friends gathering at teashops is so popular a pastime the expression ‘teashop sitting’ is practically a verb in its own right. It is in teashops that people exchange news and, when it is not too dangerous an occupation, discuss politics.” Aung San Suu Kyi – Letter from Burma No 21. The pro-democracy demonstrations of 1988 were sparked off by the killing of a student, Phone Maw, at a Rangoon Tea shop. Tea shop owners have been sentenced to prison on several occasions for playing the BBC Burmese service in their shops. In 2000, one Tea Shop owner was sentenced to 7 years for such ‘subversive’ activities.

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