Sunday, January 25, 2009

250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns

Thousands gather to celebrate birthday of the Bard

THEY came in their thousands to celebrate the birthday of one of Scotland's most famous sons.
Gathering in churches, parading through the streets and feasting on haggis, neeps and tatties, crowds joined together to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.

Events were held across Burns country to toast the Bard and kick off Homecoming 2009, a series of events throughout the year that, it is hoped, will prove a much needed tonic to the Scottish economy.

In Dumfries a crowd estimated at 15,000 paraded through the streets to converge on the banks of the Nith bearing homemade lanterns inspired by the words of Burns.


Sir Sean says let voters decide on independence

SIR Sean Connery used the launch of Homecoming 2009 yesterday to urge unionists not to block the Scottish Government's plans for a referendum.
The James Bond star and prominent SNP supporter insisted that allowing the people to decide the country's constitutional future was both the "democratic way" and "the Scottish way".

Sir Sean made the plea as Scotland celebrated the 250th anniversa
ry of the birth of Robert Burns – who, he said, had a "passionate belief in Scotland".

More than 300 events are planned for this year, starting on Burns' Night and finishing on St Andrew's Day, in November.

The SNP administration has put forward proposals for an independence referendum in 2010. The Nationalists plan to introduce a referendum bill in January of that year, in the expectation that the vote will take place in the autumn.

Sir Sean said: "Next year, the SNP Scottish Government plan to bring forward a referendum to give the people the opportunity to choose independence and equality for Scotland.

"That is the democratic way to decide the nation's future – and the democratic way is the Scottish way."

He added: "The future of Scotland is for the people to choose – not politicians in London or anywhere else.

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