HUNDREDS of Myanmar residents in Singapore gathered on Sunday for a unique tribute to victims of last September's crackdown in their homeland - a screening of the new 'Rambo' movie.
In the fourth film of the series, ageing Vietnam war veteran John Rambo takes on the Myanmar military as he and a group of mercenaries try to rescue Christian missionary-aid workers captured by the army.
The film, which portrays Myanmar's military as sadistic and depraved, is set against a backdrop of persecution of the country's ethnic Karen people.
'Just like Rambo is in the movie, Burma is waiting for a hero or someone to lead the revolution,' said engineer Maung Zaw, one of the Myanmar nationals who attended the screening at a central Singapore cinema.
All 600 tickets for the event was sold, said Aung Sayar Pyi, of the Overseas Burmese Patriots group which organised it.
'I'm happy to see the event as a success. We managed to sell out the entire cinema,' he said.
Several dozen of them wore T-shirts in red, the colour favoured by activists expressing their opposition to the regime.
'We are one', the front of the shirts read, while the back said, 'We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma', the country's former name which is still favoured by activists and the US government.
Organisers said they received permission from Singapore's media watchdog to hold a special programme before the film started. They planned to sing their country's national anthem, and show slides about the September crackdown which sparked worldwide outrage.
The demonstrations in Myanmar led by Buddhist monks became the biggest threat to the ruling junta in nearly two decades.
New York-based Human Rights Watch, in its annual report released Thursday, placed the death toll from the crackdown at about 100, far higher than the 15 dead reported by the junta. -- AFP