Tuesday, 31 January 2012

EU keeps the pressure up on Burm

Published: 31 January 2012

EU keeps the pressure up on Burma thumbnail
The EU earlier this month lifted visa bans on the Burmese president and vice president (Reuters)

European Union leaders on Monday urged Burma’s leaders to continue reforms and pledged to further ease sanctions if the regime meets the bloc’s expectations.

“I welcome the important changes taking place in Burma and encourage its government to maintain its determination to continue on the path of reform,” EU president Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement after a summit in Brussels.

“These changes are opening up important new prospects for developing the relationship between the European Union and Burma.

“I look forward to further progress in the coming weeks, in particular the further release of political prisoners, free and fair elections, and halting ethnic conflicts.”

After nearly half a century of outright military rule in the country, the regime has surprised observers with a series of reforms which culminated recently in democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi standing for a seat in parliament.

The EU agreed in January to begin easing sanctions on Burma to encourage reform, lifting travel bans against the nation’s leaders and pledging further action pending continued change.

“We will continue to ease the EU’s restrictive measures if our expectations are met,” Van Rompuy said.

Separately British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was possible he could visit Burma, following a series of visits by senior western officials including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Cameron said he would “keep all options open” when asked if would visit the country, but said that Aung San Suu Kyi was on an “extremely busy schedule with these elections and everything else coming up.”

“But we’re going to watch very closely and do anything we can to help frankly,” he said.

Peace Efforts Persist, But a Nationwide Ceasefire Remains Elusive

By WAI MOE Monday, January 30, 2012

In the month of January, the Burmese government successfully concluded some form of ceasefire agreement with the Shan State Army-North (SSA-North) and the Karen National Union (KNU), but was unable to do so with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and New Mon State Party (NMSP).

On Tuesday and Wednesday, a delegation from the NMSP and the government’s peace building committee will meet for “peace talks” in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State and the headquarters of the Burmese army’s Southeast Regional Military Command, according to Nai Hang Tha, the general secretary of the Mon armed group.

“Nai Rot Sa, the vice chairman of the NMSP, is leading the Mon delegation to Moulmein, and the government delegation will be led by Railway Minister U Aung Min,” Nai Hang Tha told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

“Within the policy of the UNFC (the United Nationalities Federal Council, an alliance of ethnic groups), the Mon delegation will raise the issue of a ceasefire across the country,” said Nai Hang Tha.

“I do not think there will be any signing ceremony in Moulmein since the meeting is the beginning of the process,” he said.

Although the NMSP is small compared to other ethnic armed groups, it is politically significant and has maintained its policy of demanding a nationwide ceasefire. This position particularly supports the Kachin Independence Organization, which has been engaged in armed conflict with government forces since June 2011.

The SSA-North and its political wing, the Shan State Progressive Party, also held recent talks with the peace building committe, meeting with the team led by Aung Thaung and Thein Zaw in Thaunggyi, Shan State on Saturday.

At the meeting, the SSA-North officials raised the issue of a nationwide ceasefire as well, saying that the government should not enter into ceasefires with some groups and offend others.

After the meeting, however, the SSA-North reportedly signed an agreement with the government negotiators.

According to the state-run-newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, the government and the SSA-North signed a five-point ceasefire agreement on Monday.

The agreement reportedly allows the SSA-North to maintain a base in the Wanhai area of Shan State and to have temporary bases in other locations. It also provides for the opening of liaison offices in Thaungyi, Lashio and Kholan.

Despite the requests of their fellow ethnic armed groups for a nationwide ceasefire, fighting continues in Kachin State between government forces and the KIA.

“Government troops still attack our troops, particularly in the northern Shan State area,” said Awng Jet, a KIA officer in Laiza.

“There was a public assembly in Laiza, where Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) officials explained what is happening in talks with the government delegation,” he said.

A delegation from the KIO, which is the political wing of the KIA, met with the government peace delegation led by Aung Thaung in China’s border town of Ruili on Jan.18-19.

The meeting did not result in a ceasefire agreement, however, and the government troops even attacked KIA bases during the talks.

Aung Thaung told the KIO delegation that the peace process could take three years.

“But the talks between the KIO and the government will continue, probably in the second week of February,” said Awng Jet.

The other major ceasefire agreement signed by Naypyidaw in January was with Burma’s longest-operating insurgent group, the Karen National Union (KNU).

The ceasefire with the KNU was signed on Jan.12 in Hpa-an, the capital of Karen State, by a government delegation led by Aung Min.

During its talks with the government, the KNU delegation proposed an 11-point agreement that included issues such as the halting of human rights violations and forced labor.

As part of the ceasefire agreement that was signed, the government negotiator agreed to include the 11 points as part of future discussions.

After signing the ceasefire, both the government and the KNU will reposition their troops. The KNU held a central committee meeting on Jan.23-25 to discuss the repositioning of troops and the next round of talks with Naypyidaw.

“For building trust in the interest of a ceasefire, dialogue and discussion will be undertaken on the matter of reduction/pulling out and positioning of Burmese government troops in the KNU areas,” the KNU announced in a statement on the day following the central committee meeting.

David Takapaw, the vice chairman of the KNU, said the repositioning of troops would be difficult for the government army since more than 200 government outposts are in KNU areas, but he said he “hopes for the best.”

“The ceasefire agreement is a good step, but it is also a small step in the whole picture of the peace process in Burma,” said Takapaw.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Burmese Army Stands Behind President

Friday, January 27, 2012

Burmese military parade during the 65th Anniversary of Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw. (Photo: AP)

Burmese President Thein Sein’s recent political reform efforts have garnered continuous support within the army, according to military sources.

Many army officers and other rank-and-file soldiers are reportedly in favor of Thein Sein’s administration regarding its meeting with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, peace talks with different ethnic armed groups and the release of a large number of political prisoners.

Many believe that the actions of the new president—who used to follow the direct orders of previous junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe—have been improving the image of the army, according to a high-ranking official in Naypyidaw Military Command.

Relations are fine between Thein Sein and Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of armed forces, despite a slight rift previously developing between the pair, the official told The Irrawaddy.

“They have good relations. Sometimes the president tried to stop the commander-in-chief when he thought the latter wanted to do anything that came into his mind, that’s all,” said the official.

During his goodwill visit to Thailand earlier this month, Min Aung Hlaing said the Burmese armed forces have no desire to turn backwards while the country is marching towards a democratic future.

In her recent interview with the Washington Post, Suu Kyi emphasized that the army has much more power than necessary.

“Our present constitution gives the military far too much power,” said the Nobel Laureate. “Although the president is the head of state, he is not necessarily the highest power in the land. The commander-in-chief can take over all powers of government at any time he feels it to be necessary.

“I don’t know how much support [Thein Sein] has within the army. He himself is an army man, so I assume there must be considerable support for him in military circles. But that is just an assumption.”

The army under Min Aung Hlaing’s command, however, ignored the president’s order to stop its current offensive against the Kachin Independence Army in northern Kachin State. Critics believe that hardliners in both the military and government have resisted some of the Thein Sein's reforms.

Another senior officer based in an infantry unit in Shan State, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Irrawaddy that the commander-in-chief has been consolidating power by transferring or dismissing high-ranking personnel who were previously appointed by Than Shwe and his deputy Vice-Snr-Gen Maung Aye.

“He asked many colonels in army regional commands such as in Lashio, Shan and Arakan states either to move somewhere else or resign if they don’t want the transfer, so many have chosen the second option,” said the senior officer.

He added that Min Aung Hlaing recently transferred some senior officers, who were earmarked for regional and divisional commander posts before Than Shwe retired, to unimportant positions within the army.

Thein Sein was a graduate of the Defense Services Academy (DSA) Intake 9 and served as Colonel General Staff at the office of the commander-in-chief. He later became the head of the Military Operation Command No. 4 based in Rangoon. In 1997, he served as the commander of Triangle Region Command. He also took the position of the Adjust General within the army.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing was much junior in military rank compared to the president and graduated from DSA Intake 19. In 2001, he served as the commander of Division 44 based in Mon State. He later became the headmaster of Pyin Oo Lwin Military University.

Min Aung Hlaing also took other positions such as head of the Western Command, Triangle Region Command, Bureau of Special Operations and Coordinator of Special Operations (Army, Navy and Airforce).

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Nine Years Sleeping on a Cold Concrete Floor


A number of Burma's political prisoners who were recently released told The Irrawaddy that conditions inside the prisons were deplorable until 1999 when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) became involved. Many, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the physical environment and said that conditions varied in prisons across the country.

The Irrawaddy reporter Lin Thant spoke to Ko Ko Gyi, the well-known 88 Generation Students Group leader about conditions and his personal experiences inside Mong Hsat Prison, which is situated in a remote location in eastern Shan State.

Ko Ko Gyi was arrested together with his colleagues in 2007 after his involvement in peaceful protests. For his role in the demonstrations, he was handed a 65 and a half year prison sentence.

Having spent nearly 20 years inside, and having done time in Insein, Maubin, Keng Tong and Mong Hsat prisons, Ko Ko Gyi is well qualified to talk about Burma's prison system.

He was released on Jan. 13 under a presidential amnesty.

Question: Based on your personal experience, please tell us the conditions in the different prisons you were detained.

Answer: The prison conditions were quite bad when we were imprisoned for the first time. What I mean is that we were beaten and maltreated and regularly sent to the guard dogs' cells. We were not allowed to read and anyone caught with a piece of paper was given a severe punishment.

However, after the ICRC’s visits to prisons, conditions began to change gradually. For instance, I had to sleep on a cold concrete floor for about nine years until the Red Cross came to inspect the jail. After their visit I was allocated a bed. Also, toilets that had manual flushing were installed, and we were permitted to read books, newspapers and journals.

Q: Were there any situations that did not improve?

A: A political prisoner could previously receive a remission on his or her sentence like other inmates. However, after the changes took place in 1997, he no longer qualified for a remission of his sentence. It was a very bad practice. In prison, we can generally calculate that we have the right to get a pardon on one-third of our sentence in accordance with the jail manual. It means that if a political prisoner was given a 15-year term he should be released after serving 10 years. The issue caused a rift between the political prisoners and the prison authorities. On one hand, the government said there are no prisoners in Burma, but on the other hand our rights were systematically abused. That was the worst thing.

Another issue was that during our second time of imprisonment we were sent to remote prisons, intentionally creating a situation where our families could not contact or visit us regularly. A fortnightly prison visit creates an outlet for frustration for a political prisoner. By having an opportunity to meet and talk with family members a political prisoner can release his/her stress that has been bottled up for the past 14 days.

For example, I was in Mong Hsat prison for over three years, during which time my family visited me only three times. And I would say that I was a bit luckier than many others. There were those whose families could not even afford to come and see them even one time.

So, whether intentional or not, transferring political prisoners to remote prisons was a mental torture for them. While physical conditions in different prisons were improving, psychological torture continued.

Q: How about health care in prison?

A: Even an ordinary citizen has to pay everything for health care under the motto za-yeik-hmya-pay-kyan-mar-yay [Share expenses for health]. But it is worse for a prisoner. Especially in small towns in remote areas, local residents don’t receive adequate health care. For instance, there is neither an X-ray machine nor an eye-doctor nor a dentist.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Dear friends,

We, 88 New Generation Students (UK) , would like to kindly invite you all to support and participate in the protest, calling on the Thein Sein government to release of all the remaining political prisoners in Burma.

We do not deny that the Burmese government took on a new political shape from dictatorship to quasi-civil government after having unilateral, illegitimate election in 2010 . In an effort to save off pressure and criticism from the international community, the new Burmese government’s January 2012 amnesty, saw the largest number of political prisoners release since 2004 . This fortunately included our prominent student leaders, monk leaders and ethnic leaders.

Of course,we welcome this as a first positive sign towards democratization. However, by just merely witnessing these initial gestures made by the Burmese government, their original intention to get sanctions lifted and gain international legitimacy should not be forgotten. There should be more actions taken by the Thein Sein government to move on to significant, substantial and long-lasting political changes in our country in line with the democratic system practised by the every democratic nation. To be able to implement this, the most fundamental step, is the release of all the remaining political prisoners by the Thein Sein government and with a declaration promising to the people of Burma and the international community, that there will be no such political prisoners in Burma in the future.

In addition, despite the initial steps undertaken by the Thein Sein government, there is still ongoing persist tensions and suppression of any forms in all the ethnic areas especially in the northern and eastern Burma. As a result, this creates a far distant hope for the ethnic nationalities for returning home safe and in peace which has already vanished over many decades.

So we are going to hold a protest to strongly urge the Thein Sein government:

(1) To unconditionally release all the remaining political prisoners in Burma

(2) To declare a nationwide ceasefire and solve the ethnic issues, with a peaceful, inclusive political dialogue

(3) To start working on national reconciliation

Program details

Date: 26th January 2012 (Thursday)
Time: 12:00 to 1:00pm
Venue: Burmese Embassy
19A Charles Street
London W1J 5DX

To show our solidarity, we would respectfully like to ask all organizations and individuals who are working hard for the freedom of all political prisoners and democracy in our country to join hand in hand. Your continued support and cooperation is essential to bring freedom, justice, human rights and democracy in Burma.

Yours sincerely,

88 New Generation Students (UK)

Burmese Army Shoots Pregnant Kachin Teacher: BCUK

(Mizzima) – Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) said it has confirmed reports that a pregnant Kachin woman was shot and killed by Burmese Army soldiers on January 11.

Burma-Campaign-UK-logoA statement released on Wednesday said Mangshang Ying Wang was shot by Burmese Army soldiers on January 11 at 9 a.m. on Hpakan Road in Kachin State. It is believed that soldiers from Battalion 58 under the command of Lieutenant Ye Min Twi, Lieutenant Ko Ko Latt and Colonel Htun Naing were in charge of soldiers in that area, according to the BCUK statement. It did not cite a source for its information.

Mangshang Ying Wang was four months pregnant, the BCUK said, and she was taken to a hospital where she died later that day. Another woman, Gawlu Seng Hkawn, was also shot and injured in the attack, it said.

In June 2010, the Burmese government broke a cease-fire with the Kachin Independence Organization, an armed political party in Kachin State in northeast Burma.

The Burmese Army has been deliberately targeting civilians since resuming the fighting, said BCUK. “The attacks by the Burmese Army have forced up to 50,000 people to flee their homes. The military-backed government continues to block international aid from reaching these people,” it said in a press statement.

“The soldiers who carried out the attack should be arrested and put on trial”, said Zoya Phan, campaigns manager at Burma Campaign UK. “There has been good news from Burma recently, but there is still more bad news than good news. It is time the international community took a more balanced approach to what is really happening in Burma.

“For decades these kind of attacks have taken place with no action taken against the soldiers and their commanders. The scale of this indicates this is Army policy, not individual soldiers behaving badly.”

She said the breaking of the cease-fire in Kachin State was expected, but the international community took no action to try to prevent it happening, and no action to ensure aid could reach those who fled the attacks.

“Attacks like this should remind the EU that they shouldn’t get carried away by the good news and relax sanctions too soon,” she said. “Those EU members whose diplomats are privately arguing that even the arms embargo should be lifted in April, should come out publicly and explain why they think it’s a good idea to sell arms to a government that shoots unarmed women.”

Min Ko Naing Calls for Rule of Law

By THE IRRAWADDY Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Speaking at a ceremony held in their honor, two recently released leaders of the 88 Generation Students group told their supporters in Pegu on Tuesday that they welcome recent political changes in Burma, but hope for more far-reaching reforms in the future.

Echoing National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi's oft-repeated refrain, former student activist Min Ko Naing—widely regarded as second only to Suu Kyi in terms of his political influence in Burma's pro-democracy movement—emphasized the need for a return to rule of law in the country after half a century of military rule.

“Without the rule of law, there is no security. Citizens can be arrested at any time, and they never know when there will be a knock on their door in the middle of the night,” he said, speaking at an event in Pegu that was also attended by his long-time colleague, Ko Ko Gyi.

The two leaders, who were among hundreds of political prisoners freed under a presidential order on Jan. 13, also applauded the cooperation they have received from local authorities since their release.

Citing their press conference in Rangoon last weekend, which they held with permission from Rangoon Division authorities, they said they are now ready to cooperate with any level of government to achieve further progress.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Ko Ko Gyi said the fact that plainclothes Special Branch officers and local traffic police facilitated their trip to Pegu, about 80 km northeast of Rangoon, was another sign of the more cooperative relationship that is possible between dissidents and the authorities.

The trip to Pegu—their first outside of Rangoon Division since their release from prison less than two weeks ago—was made at the invitation of local supporters and political groups, including the NLD and the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, an officially outlawed group that reformed in 2007 at the height of the Buddhist monk-led Saffron Revolution.

“You are our witnesses when we say that we are willing to work with the authorities without hesitation,” Ko Ko Gyi told an audience of about 500 people on Tuesday, adding that he hoped to see more “meaningful change” in the months ahead.

Referring to his recent status as a political prisoner, he said: “We don't want to be prisoners of the past or prisoners of doubt. We want to look forward to a beautiful future.”

However, in a grim reminder of the dark shadow that abuses of power continue to cast over the country, the two returned to Rangoon immediately after the ceremony in Pegu to attend the funeral of another former political prisoner who died on Sunday.

Thet Nwe, 54, was also among the prisoners released on Jan. 13. Relatives say he died nine days later of complications from a medical condition that went untreated while he was in prison, where he was serving a life sentence for high treason. His health problems were believed to stem from torture he received while under interrogation.

After the funeral, a group of 88 Generation leaders were expected to meet with Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon. It will be the first time in more than 20 years that Suu Kyi and the former student activists who spearheaded Burma's 1988 pro-democracy uprising have been able to meet.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

‘Reforms’ in Burma Offer Little Hope to Refugees

By SAW YAN NAING / THE IRRAWADDY Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Refugees at the Mae La camp on the Thai-Burmese border. (Photo: Moe Kyaw / The Irrawaddy)

MAE HONG SON, Thailand — Burma has showcased a series of “reforms” to the international community, but homecoming remains a distant dream for the thousands of war refugees living in neighbouring Thailand.

“Progress can be seen only in big cities, not in our hometown,” says 61-year-old Saw Raw, sitting on the balcony of his house at the Mae La Oon refugee camp in Mae Sariang District in northern Thailand. It’s a cold winter morning and the native of Karen State in eastern Burma is listening to his Chinese-made radio tuned to Washington, D.C.-based Radio Free Asia in Burmese, his one and only source of news from his home country.

“I think the day is still far away when we will get to go back home,” Saw Raw adds, shaking his head in the hopelessness that characterizes the mood among the over 40,000 refugees that have called this isolated camp home for more than three decades. Raw fled his hometown in the early 1980s after the Burma army launched a military offensive that destroyed his village. What he thought at the time would be a “temporary” shelter remains his “home” nearly three decades later.

Raw is one of the roughly 140,000 Burmese refugees living in nine camps on Thai-Burmese border since 1984. Armed ethnic minority groups, like the Karen National Union (KNU), have been fighting for autonomy since 1948, but the government remains unwilling to discuss devolution.

Htun Htun, chairman of the Mae La refugee camp, agrees that the recent signs of change in Burma are limited to the country's urban areas, in the region that was known as Burma Proper during the era of British colonial rule and was administered separately without including the ethnic states.

“I think refugee repatriation is still far away,” he says. “It will be possible only when peace and stability prevail in the ethnic homelands.”

Despite persistent tensions in Burma’s ethnic states, Thailand has repeatedly voiced its intention to repatriate the refugees. These calls intensified when a new Burmese government led by President Thein Sein, an ex-military general, was sworn in last year.

Sally Thompson, the deputy director of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, says that refugees are eager to return home but the armed conflicts in Burma, especially in Kachin State, are growing despite the recent reforms. There are about 500,000 internally displaced ethnic civilians in the east, north and south of Burma due to armed conflicts, she points out.

“We always hope that the refugees are able to return home sometime,” Thompson says. She added, however, that she can’t predict when this will be possible.

About 70,000 Burmese refugees have been resettled in third countries, but many have not opted for that in hope of returning home, says Thompson.

The 54-year-old Paw Mu Nan, a refugee woman and the secretary of the Mae La Oon camp who left Burma 25 years ago, said, “Of course, we will return home if there is peace.”

“If there were no Burmese troops in their hometowns, many people would have returned home,” Nan says. She fled Karen State after the military seized a numbers of Karen rebel bases and occupied civilian villages including Nan’s village Pan Het in Papun District between 1984 and 1997.

Religious faith is strong among many ethnic Karen. Every Sunday, they pray at their churches for the realization of their dream of returning home. On Jan. 12, many Christian Karen people across the world—in countries as far flung as Japan, Thailand, the United States, England and other EU countries—held prayers for peace in Karen State while the leaders of the KNU held peace talk with the government.

The result of those talks was an 11-point ceasefire agreement reached on the same day. Under the deal, the KNU is allowed to open liaison offices, and the government undertakes to end forced labor, arbitrary taxation and extortion. Despite the agreement, however, the war refugees are still uncertain when they will have a chance to safely return home. While some express optimism, few believe that it will be possible to return home in the near future.

Meanwhile, the relative calm in Karen State contrasts starkly with the deadly war that has been waged in Kachin State since last June, when the government ended a truce that had lasted 17 years. La Nan, the spokesperson for the Kachin Independence Organization, the 10,000-strong armed group that is battling Burmese army forces, says the government has been using helicopters not only to carry out injured soldiers, but also to send ammunition and troops to the combat zone since Nov. 25.

Local sources say the war in Kachin State has already displaced more than 45,000 Kachin civilians, and it's impossible to say when they will be able to return to their homes.

“The civil war will go on for a long time if the government doesn’t make real peace with ethnic minorities,” warns La Nan.

Last November, Physicians for Human Rights conducted an investigation into allegations of rights abuses and atrocities by the Burmese military in Kachin State and found that between June and September 2011, the army looted food from civilians, fired indiscriminately at villagers, threatened them with attacks, and forcibly used them as porters and minesweepers.

According to the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, on Nov. 30—the same day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Burma for a landmark visit—government troops killed civilians and burned their houses in Kachin State.

Ashley South, a Burma watcher, says that the international community should encourage reforms by the government of President Thein Sein, but serious and widespread human rights abuses, particularly in areas affected by on-going armed conflicts, must not be ignored. Without addressing the aspirations and grievances of ethnic minorities, social and political problems cannot be solved, South adds.

Meanwhile, refugees living in Thailand and elsewhere continue to pray for the day when they can return to their homeland, but also doubt that they will see that day anytime soon.

Maw Lu, a 28-year-old refugee who has spent most of his life in a refugee camp, says he doesn't want to be foolhardy and attempt to return too soon. Going to a third country is a better option, he says, not only for himself but also for the “following generations”. Yet he still hopes to see the land of his ancestors again someday, when and if peace arrives. “But I might be an old man by then,” he says, laughing.

ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢ ေပၚထြန္းေရး ႀကိဳးပမ္းသြားမည္ဟုဆို

ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံတြင္ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢမ်ား ေပၚထြန္းေရးအတြက္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းသြားမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသား ေခါင္းေဆာင္ တဦးျဖစ္သူ မင္းကုိႏုိင္က ေျပာသည္။

ဒီမုိကေရစီစနစ္ က်င့္သုံးေသာ ဒီမုိကေရစီႏုိင္ငံအျဖစ္ အသြင္ေျပာင္းမည္ဆုိပါက ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢမ်ား ဖြဲ႕စည္းခြင့္ ျပဳရမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ေက်ာင္းသား သမဂၢမ်ားသည္ ေက်ာင္းသားလႊတ္ေတာ္မ်ားပင္ျဖစ္ၿပီး ဒီမုိကေရစီ စနစ္အတြက္ အေလ့အက်င့္ေကာင္း ေပးေသာ ေနရာမ်ားျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢ ေပၚထြန္းေရးအတြက္ အညံ့ခံမည္မဟုတ္ေၾကာင္း ဇန္န၀ါရီလ ၂၁ ရက္ေန႔ ရန္ကုန္ ေတာ္၀င္စင္တာတြင္ က်င္းပျပဳလုပ္ေသာ သတင္းစာ ရွင္းလင္းပြဲတြင္ မင္းကုိႏုိင္က ဆုိသည္။

၈၈ မ်ိဳးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ားအား သတင္းစာရွင္းလင္းပြဲတြင္ ေတြ႕ရစဥ္ (ဓာတ္ပံု - ဧရာဝတီ)

“ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢဆုိတာ ေက်ာင္းသားလႊတ္ေတာ္ပဲ။ ဒီမုိကေရစီႏုိင္ငံ သြားမယ္ဆုိရင္ လႊတ္ေတာ္ရွိရမယ္။ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ရွိရမွာ ျဖစ္တဲ့အတြက္ ေက်ာင္းသားေတြအတြက္ ေလ့က်င့္ေပးေနတဲ့ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢေတြ ရွိကိုရွိရမယ္။ဒီမုိကေရစီ တကယ္သြားတယ္ဆုိရင္ ဒီမုိကေရစီ အခြင့္အေရးေတြနဲ႔ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢဖြဲ႕စည္းဖို႔ ခြင့္ကို ခြင့္ျပဳရမယ္။ သမုိင္း အဆက္ဆက္မွာ အစဥ္အလာႀကီးခဲ့တဲ့ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ေခတ္မွာလည္း အညံ့မခံခဲ့ဘူး။ ေဟာဒီေခတ္မွာ၊ ေနာင္မ်ဳိးဆက္ေတြမွာလည္း အညံ့မခံဘူးဆိုတာ က်ေနာ္ယုံပါတယ္” ဟု ကိုမင္းကိုႏုိင္က ေျပာသည္။

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းေခါင္းေဆာင္တဦးျဖစ္သူ ကုိမင္းေဇယ်ကလည္း ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားသည္ ေခတ္အဆက္ဆက္ လြတ္လပ္ေရး၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးတြင္ ပါဝင္ ဦးေဆာင္ခဲ့ၾကသူမ်ားျဖစ္ၿပီး ေက်ာင္းသားဆုိေသာ ေခါင္းစဥ္ ေအာက္တြင္ အားလုံး တေျပးညီတူညီေၾကာင္း ေျပာဆုိသည္။

“ေက်ာင္းသားရွိရင္ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢ ရွိရမယ္။ ၁၉၂၀ က ေက်ာင္းသား၊ ၁၉၈၈ က ေက်ာင္းသား၊ အခုေက်ာင္းသား အားလုံး အတူတူပဲ။ ေခတ္အဆက္ဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားေတြက ဦးေဆာင္ခဲ့ၾကတယ္” ဟု ၎က ရွင္းလင္းသည္။

ဒီမိုကေရစီ အစုိးရဆုိလွ်င္ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢကိုေၾကာက္ရြံ႕ရန္ မလိုေၾကာင္း၊ အစုိးရ၏ ျပည္သူ႔အေပၚ ထားရွိေသာ သေဘာထားႏွင့္ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ပုံအေပၚ မူတည္ၿပီး ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢမ်ားက ျပန္လည္တုံ႔ျပန္မည္ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း မင္းကုိႏုိင္က

“ေက်ာင္းသား သမဂၢကို မေၾကာက္ပါနဲ႔။ မွန္ကန္တဲ့အစိုးရ၊ မွန္ကန္တဲ့အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈဆုိရင္ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢက တြန္မယ့္ေဒါင္း၊ ကမယ့္ ေဒါင္းပါ။ အဲဒီေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢက ေဖာက္ျပန္တဲ့စနစ္၊ အခြင့္ထူးခံေတြနဲ႔ ခြပ္မယ့္ေဒါင္းပါ။ အဲဒီေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔က ခြပ္ေဒါင္းအလံလည္း ရွိတယ္၊ ကေဒါင္းလည္းအလံလည္း ရွိတယ္။ သင့္ေတာ္ရာ တီးလုံးနဲ႔ သင့္ေတာ္သလို က်ေနာ္တို႔ အလံကို တင္ႏုိင္ပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ က ေဒါင္း အလံပဲ တင္ခ်င္ပါတယ္” ဟု သူက ဆုိသည္။

သတင္းစာ ရွင္းလင္းပြဲတြင္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား၏ အခ်က္ ၉ ခ်က္ပါ သေဘာထားေၾကညာခ်က္ တရပ္ကို ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ၿပီး ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ ၾကားျဖတ္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ၀င္ေရာက္ယွဥ္ၿပိဳင္မည့္ ဆုံးျဖတ္ကို ႀကိဳဆုိေထာက္ခံကာ
၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားက ၀န္းရန္သြားမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္မ်ား ျဖစ္ေပၚေရးအတြက္ အင္အားစုမ်ားႏွင့္ ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္သြားမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ က်န္ရွိ ႏုိင္ငံေရး အက်ဥ္းသားမ်ား အားလုံး ျပန္လႊတ္ေပးရန္၊ ျပည္ပေရာက္ ႏုိင္ငံေရး အင္အားစုမ်ား ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိရွိ ျပန္လာႏုိင္ေရးအတြက္ အစိုးရက ေဆာင္ရြက္ေပးရန္၊ ျပဳျပင္ ေျပာင္းလဲေရးအတြက္ အားလုံးႏွင့္ လက္တြဲ ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ သြားမည္ ဆုိေသာ သေဘာထားမ်ားကုိ တရား၀င္ ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့သည္။

ယေန႔အခ်ိန္တြင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္သည္ ကမၻာသိ ေခါင္းေဆာင္တဦး ျဖစ္သည့္အတြက္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္
ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား အေနႏွင့္ မျဖစ္မေန အားျဖည့္ သြားရမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္မ်ား၊ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ႏွင့္ အင္အားစုမ်ား အားလုံး စုေပါင္းပါက လုိခ်င္ေသာ ပန္းတုိင္ ျမန္ျမန္ေရာက္မည္ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ကိုမင္းကုိႏုိင္က ရွင္းျပသည္။

“ကမၻာႀကီးတခုလုံးက ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ ဆိုတာ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံဒီမုိကေရစီ ထြန္းကားေရးအတြက္ ပုံရိပ္တခုအျဖစ္ သတ္မွတ္ၿပီးသားပါ။ ဒါျငင္းလို႔မရပါဘူး။ အဲဒီ အေရးႀကီးတဲ့ပုံရိပ္က လူထုေထာက္ခံမႈ ဘယ္ေလာက္ရွိသလဲ ဆုိတဲ့ ေပတံနဲ႔ ထပ္တုိင္းပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ ႏုိင္ငံတကာက ေစာင့္ၾကည့္ေနတဲ့ အေရးႀကီးတဲ့ အခ်ိန္မွာ ဒီမုိကေရစီေခါင္းေဆာင္ တေယာက္ကုိ ေထာက္ခံမႈ အင္အား ဘယ္ေလာက္မ်ားတယ္ ဆုိတာကို အားျဖည့္ေပးဖို႔ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔မွာ ေဟာဒီအခ်ဳိး၊ ေဟာဒီအေကြ႕မွာျဖင့္ တာ၀န္ရွိတယ္လုိ႔ ယူဆပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ရဲ႕ ေရွ႕အလုပ္ေတြနဲ႔ ညိႇႏႈိင္းၿပီးေတာ့ လိုအပ္တဲ့ ေနရာေတြမွာ အားျဖည့္ေပးသြားပါမယ္။ ၈၈ နဲ႔ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ အားအကုန္ ေပါင္းမယ္ ဆုိရင္၊ က်န္တဲ့ အင္အားစုေတြပါ အားလုံးအတူတကြ လုိက္လာမယ္ဆုိရင္ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ေရာက္ခ်င္တဲ့ ပန္းတုိင္ကုိ ပုိျမန္ျမန္ ေရာက္မယ္လို႔ ယုံၾကည္တယ္” ဟု မင္းကုိႏုိင္က ေျပာသည္။

ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံအေပၚ ခ်မွတ္ထားေသာ စီးပြားေရး ပိတ္ဆုိ႔မႈမ်ားႏွင့္ပတ္သက္ေသာ သေဘာထားမ်ားကုိ သတင္းစာ ရွင္းလင္းပြဲ တြင္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားက ထုတ္ေဖာ္သြားသည္။

ကိုမင္းကိုႏုိင္က “ပိတ္ဆို႔ အေရးယူမႈဆိုတာ သူ႔အလိုလို မိုးေပၚက က်လာတာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ အေၾကာင္းေၾကာင့္ အက်ဳိး ျဖစ္လာတာပါ။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ ပိတ္ဆို႔အေရးယူမႈဆိုတဲ့ အက်ဳိးတရားကို ဖယ္ရႇားခ်င္ရင္ အေၾကာင္းတရားကို မသိခ်င္ေအာင္ မေဆာင္ပါနဲ႔လို႔ ေျပာခ်င္ပါတယ္။ အေၾကာင္းတရားကို ဖယ္ရႇားဖို႔အတြက္ ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တို႔အားလုံး ၀ိုင္း၀န္းကူညီ ေဆာင္ရြက္ေပး ႏိုင္ပါတယ္” ဟု ဆိုသည္။

စီးပြားေရးပိတ္ဆုိ႔မႈကုိ ႏုိင္ငံေရးလက္နက္အျဖစ္ အသုံးျပဳမႈအား လုံး၀လက္မခံေၾကာင္း ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသား ေခါင္းေဆာင္ တဦးျဖစ္သူ ကိုကိုႀကီးက ေျပာသည္။

“ျမန္မာ့ဆိုရႇယ္လစ္ လမ္းစဥ္ပါတီ ၂၆ ႏွစ္စလုံးမႇာ ကိုယ့္ကုိယ္ကိုယ္ Sanctions လုပ္တာ က်တို႔ ခံခဲ့ရၿပီးပါၿပီ။ အခုမွ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ဒီ Sanctions ကိစၥက အင္မတန္ကို ေရပန္းစားေနတဲ့ စကားလုံးျဖစ္ေနေပမယ္လို႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ႏိုင္ငံကိုယ္ႏႈိက္က၊ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အစုိးရ ကိုယ္ႏိႈက္က Sanctions လုပ္တာကို ႏွစ္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ခံစားခဲ့ရၿပီးပါၿပီ။ ေနာက္ အခုတျဖည္းျဖည္းနဲ႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ပြင့္လင္းလာတယ္၊ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးေတြ လုပ္လာတာကို ႀကိဳဆိုပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ႏိုင္ငံမွာ ကမၻာေပၚမႇာ ေစ်းအႀကီးဆုံး တယ္လီဖုန္း၊ ကမၻာေပၚမႇာ ေစ်းအႀကီးဆုံး ေမာ္ေတာ္ကားေတြ ရွိေအာင္ ဥေရာပ သမဂၢက Sanctions လုပ္ထားတာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး၊ အေမရိကန္အစုိးရက Sanctions လုပ္ထားတာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ Sanctions ကိစၥကို ေျပာရင္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကပဲ လူထုေတြ ဆင္းရဲႏြမ္းပါးေအာင္၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအတုိက္အခံေတြက Sanctions လုပ္ထားတယ္ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့ ဒီဟာကို လက္နက္တခု အျဖစ္နဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ထိုးႏွက္ဖို႔ အသုံးခ်ေနတာဆိုရင္ လက္မခံပါဘူး” ဟု ကုိကုိႀကီးက ရွင္းျပသည္။

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားသည္ ျပည္သူမ်ား နစ္နာမည့္ကိစၥကုိ ျပဳလုပ္မဟုတ္ေၾကာင္း၊ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံအေပၚ စီးပြားေရး ပိတ္ဆုိ႔မႈ ဖယ္ရွားေရးအတြက္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားက ၀ိုင္း၀န္းႀကိဳးပမ္းသြားမည္ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ၎တို႔က

“က်ေနာ့္တကိုယ္စာ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေစခ်င္ရင္ က်ေနာ္ေထာင္ထဲ သြား မေနဘူး၊ ဒီႏိုင္ငံေရးထဲ လာမလုပ္ဘူး။ အဲဒီေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ကိုယ္ႏႈိက္က ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ခ်င္လို႔၊ ႏိုင္ငံတကာနဲ႔ ရင္ေဘာင္တန္းၿပီး တိုးတက္ခ်င္လို႔ ႏိုင္ငံေရး လုပ္တာပါ။ အဲဒီေတာ့ ျပည္သူကို နစ္နာမယ့္ ကိစၥမ်ဳိးဘယ္ေတာ့မွ မလုပ္ဘူး။ ဟိုတုန္းကလည္း မလုပ္ဘူး၊ ေနာက္လည္း မလုပ္ဘူး။ အဲဒီေတာ့ ေကာင္းၿပီ Sanctions ကိစၥနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီးေတာ့ ခုနက မင္းကိုႏိုင္ ေျပာထားၿပီးပါၿပီ။ ဘာေၾကာင့္ လုပ္ထားတာလဲ။ Sanctions လုပ္တဲ့ ကာယကံရွင္ႏိုင္ငံေတြနဲ႔ အခု ထိေတြ႔ဆက္ဆံေနၿပီပဲ။ ေဆြးေႏြးေနၿပီပဲ။ အဲဒီေတာ့ Sanctions ျဖစ္ရတဲ့ အေၾကာင္းရင္းေတြကို ေျဖရွင္းရင္ Sanctions က သူ႔ဟာသူ ေျပလည္သြားမႇာပါ။ ေတာင္းဆိုေနစရာ မလုိပါဘူး။ အဲဒီေတာ့ Sanctions လုပ္ရတဲ့အေၾကာင္းရင္းေတြကို က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ပူးေပါင္းၿပီးေတာ့ ေျဖရႇင္းမယ္။ ပူးေပါင္းၿပီးေတာ့ ေဆာင္ရြက္မယ္။ အဲဒါက Sanctions နဲ႔ပတ္သက္တဲ့ သေဘာထားပါ” ဟု ကုိကိုႀကီးက သတင္းေထာက္တဦး၏ ေမးျမန္းခ်က္ကုိ ျပန္လည္ေျဖၾကားသည္။

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားက ျပည္တြင္းသတင္းမီဒီယာ လြတ္လပ္ခြင့္မရွိသည့္ အေပၚလည္း ေထာက္ျပၿပီး သတင္းလြတ္လပ္ခြင့္ ရရွိေစရန္ မီဒီယာမ်ားက ႀကိဳးပမ္းရမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ မီဒီယာလြတ္လပ္ခြင့္ အတြက္ စာေပစိစစ္ေရး မရွိသင့္ေၾကာင္း ေျပာဆုိသည္။

“က်ေနာ္တုိ႔နဲ႔အတူ အေျပာင္းအလဲကို လိုက္ပါႏုိင္ၾကမယ္လို႔ ရည္ရြယ္တဲ့ဆႏၵနဲ႔ သတင္းစာရွင္းလင္းပြဲ လုပ္ရတာလည္း အေရးႀကီးတဲ့ အခ်က္တခ်က္ အေနနဲ႔ပါပါတယ္။ ထပ္ၿပီးေတာ့ တုိးရပါလိမ့္မယ္။ စာေပစိစစ္ေရးဆုိတာ လုိအပ္ပါတယ္လုိ႔ ဆိုတဲ့ အေတြးမ်ဳိးနဲ႔ဆုိရင္ေတာ့ ဒီေလာက ထပ္တက္မွာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ သေဘာထားေတြ အယူအဆေတြအမ်ဳိးမ်ဳိး တင္ျပႏုိင္ၾကပါေစဆိုတဲ့ လြတ္လပ္ခြင့္မ်ဳိးကို ဒီေလာကသမားေတြ ေျခတလွမ္းတုိးၾကဖို႔၊ ထပ္ၿပီးေတာ့ သတိၱေလး ေမြးၿပီး ေရးၾက၊ ထည့္ၾကဖို႔ တုိက္တြန္းပါရေစ” ဟု မင္းကုိႏုိင္က မီဒီယာမ်ားကုိ တုိက္တြန္းသည္။

၈၈ မ်ိဳးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား အေနျဖင့္ ႏုိင္ငံေရးပါတီတရပ္အေနျဖင့္ ထူေထာင္ လုပ္ေဆာင္ေရးကို လတ္တေလာ မဆံုးျဖတ္ႏုိင္ေသးေၾကာင္း၊ ၾကားျဖတ္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲလြန္ ကာလေရာက္မွသာ စဥ္းစားမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း သိရသည္။

“အခ်ိန္ကာလ တခုေရာက္ရင္ေတာ့ စဥ္းစားမွာပါ။ တဦးခ်င္းအေနနဲ႔ သက္ဆုိင္ရာ ပါတီေတြဆီ သြားခ်င္တဲ့သူလည္း သြားလို႔ရတယ္၊ တျခား လူမႈေရးနယ္ပယ္ အကူအညီေပးေရးေတြမွာ ဝင္ေရာက္လုပ္ကိုင္ခ်င္လည္း လုပ္လို႔ရပါတယ္” ဟု ၈၈ မ်ိဳးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသား တဦးျဖစ္သူ ကိုၿပံဳးခ်ိဳက ဧရာဝတီကို ေျပာသည္။

ေတာ္၀င္စင္တာတြင္ က်င္းပခဲ့ေသာ သတင္းစာရွင္းလင္းပြဲသို႔ ျပည္တြင္းျပည္ပ သတင္းမီဒီယာမ်ား၊ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးပါတီမ်ား၊ သက္ဆုိင္ရာအရပ္၀တ္ ရဲႏွင့္ အာဏာပုိင္မ်ား အပါအ၀င္ စုစုေပါင္း လူဦးေရ ၅၀၀ ေက်ာ္ တက္ေရာက္ခဲ့သည္။

“ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ယံုၾကည္စိတ္ခ်မႈကို စိတ္အားထက္သန္စြာ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ေနတယ္”

(တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္ ကိုတင္ထူးေအာင္ ႏွင့္ အင္တာဗ်ဴး)

ခ်င္းမိုင္ (မဇၥ်ိမ)။ ။ ကိုတင္ထူးေအာင္သည္ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားအဖြဲ႔၊ လူထုလႈပ္ရွားမႈ ႀကီးၾကပ္ေရးေကာ္မတီတို႔တြင္ တာဝန္ေပးအပ္ခံရကာ တိုင္းရင္းသား လူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ေရးအဖြဲ႔၏ မူဝါဒႏွင့္ ႏိုင္ငံျခားဆက္ဆံေရးတာဝန္ခံ ျဖစ္သည္။

၂၀၀၇ ခု ေလာင္ဆာဆီႏွင့္ ကုန္ေစ်းႏႈန္းက်ဆင္းေရး၊ သံဃာမ်ားေမတၱာပို႔ ဆႏၵေဖာ္ထုတ္ပြဲတို႔တြင္ တက္ၾကြစြာ ပါဝင္ခဲ့သျဖင့္ ၂၀၀၇ ခု ေအာက္တိုဘာတြင္ အာဏာပိုင္မ်ား၏ ဖမ္းဆီးၿပီး ေထာင္ဒဏ္ ၃၃ ႏွစ္ ခ်မွတ္ခံခဲ့ရသည္။

အယူခံဝင္ခဲ့သျဖင့္ ႏွစ္ ၂၀ သာ က်န္ၿပီး အင္းစိန္ေထာင္ႏွင့္ ခႏၱီးေထာင္တို႔တြင္ ၄ ႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ က်ခံၿပီးေနာက္ သမၼတဦးသိန္းစိန္၏ ဇန္နဝါရီ ၁၃ ရက္ေန႔ လြတ္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းသာခြင့္ျဖင့္ ခႏၱီးေထာင္မွ လြတ္ေျမာက္လာသည္။ ခႏၱီးေထာင္တြင္ ၃ ႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ ေနခဲ့ရသည္။

အသက္ ၃၀ ေက်ာ္အရြယ္ရွိ ကိုတင္ထူးေအာင္၏ ႏိုင္ငံေရးဘဝျဖတ္သန္းမႈႏွင့္ သေဘာထား၊ ေထာင္တြင္း အေတြ႔အႀကံဳတို႔ကို သိရွိႏိုင္ရန္ မဇၥ်ိမ သတင္းေထာက္ ကိုဝိုင္းက ဆက္သြယ္ ေမးျမန္းထားသည္။


ကိုတင္ထူးေအာင္ကို ပုဒ္မ ဘယ္ႏွခုေလာက္ အတပ္ခံရတာလဲ။

“ပုဒ္မ ၉ ခု အတပ္ခံရပါတယ္။ ၃၃-က ေတြလည္း ပါတယ္။ ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္တို႔နဲ႔ တြဲထားတဲ့ ပုဒ္မေတြကိုေတာ့ က်ေနာ့္ကို အမိန္႔ခ်ခါနီးမွ ဆိုင္းငံ့လုပ္လိုက္ပါတယ္”

“ခႏၱီးေထာင္မွာ က်န္ေနခဲ့တဲ့ လူေတြထဲကေတာ့ နာဂလက္နက္ကိုင္နဲ႔ပတ္သက္ၿပီး က်ေနတဲ့ ကိုေဒးဗစ္ဆန္းရယ္၊ MI က ဗိုလ္မႉးခ်ဳပ္သန္းထြန္း၊ ဝ’ က မူးယစ္ေဆးဝါးနဲ႔ ေထာင္ဒဏ္ တသက္ က်ေနတဲ့ ဦးအိုက္စံ၊ ဦးခင္ညြန္႔ရဲ႕ ပီေအ ဦးႏိုင္ေဌး၊ မံုးကိုး အထူးေဒသ-၁ လက္နက္နဲ႔ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး လဲထားတဲ့ ဒုဥကၠဌ ဦးေဇာ္လရယ္ က်န္ပါေသးတယ္။ ဘူးသီၤးေတာင္ေထာင္ထဲမွာ သူတို႔ အဖြဲ႔က ဥကၠ႒ ဦးမူဆာလ ဆံုးသြားပါၿပီ”

ထြက္လာေတာ့ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားလို႔ ေျပာလို႔ရတာ အတူတူ ဘယ္ႏွစ္ေယာက္ပါလဲ။

“ကိုထင္ေက်ာ္၊ ကိုေနဝင္းစိုး၊ ကိုေက်ာ္မိုးဦး၊ ဘုန္းႀကီး ဦးပါကတ၊ ကိုဖိုးတုတ္၊ ဖိုးေက်ာ္၊ မထားထားသက္။ ကိုေနဝင္းစိုး က ေဒါက္တာႏိုင္ေအာင္တို႔ FDB နဲ႔ပတ္သက္ၿပီးေတာ့ ဒီဘက္ကို ကူးလာတာမွာ က်တဲ့သေဘာပါ။ ကိုေက်ာ္မိုးဦးက လိႈင္သာယာဘက္မွာ စက္ရံုတခုမွာ ဗံုးကို ေျမာင္းထဲမွာ ခ်ထားတယ္ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့ ဆြဲတာပါ။ ကိုဖိုးတုတ္က ယူဂ်ီေပါ့ labor နဲ႔ပတ္သက္တာပါ။ ကိုဖိုးေက်ာ္ သူ႔အေဖက NLD က မံုရြာ ဦးညီပု ေဒါင္းရုပ္ ဆြဲတယ္ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့ ခ်လိုက္တာပါ။ မထားထားသက္က အေမရိကန္စင္တာမွာ အလုပ္သမားကိစၥေျပာလို႔ ဖမ္းခံရတဲ့ ကိုသူရိန္ေအာင္ တို႔အုပ္စု အဆက္စပ္ပါပဲ။ ယူဂ်ီလုပ္ငန္းေတြလုပ္ရင္းက်တာပါ။ ဦးပါကတ က်ေတာ့ ဟိုဘက္က ကိုေမာင္ေမာင္ႀကီး (NDD) တို႔ သင္တန္းေပးၿပီးေတာ့ ဒီဘက္ျပန္ဝင္လာတဲ့ အခ်ိန္မွာ အဖမ္းခံရတာပါ”

အရင္တုန္းက ေထာင္က်ဖူးေသးလား။ ၁၉၈၈ ခုမွာ ပါခဲ့ေသးလား။ ပညာေရးအေျခအေန။

“ရွစ္ဆယ့္ရွစ္မွာ မပါပါဘူး။ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔က ပထမ တႀကိမ္ စစ္ေထြေထာင္မွာ က်ခဲ့ဖူးပါတယ္။ ၂၀၀၃ ခုႏွစ္က ေဒသဆိုင္ရာအာဏာပိုင္ေတြရဲ႕ အာဏာအလြဲသံုးစားမႈကို က်ေနာ္က စစ္ေထြတကၠသိုလ္ ဒုတိယႏွစ္ ဥပေဒေက်ာင္းသားအေနနဲ႔ ဆန္႔က်င္ခဲ့တဲ့အတြက္ေၾကာင့္ စစ္ေထြေထာင္မွာ ေထာင္ ၇ ႏွစ္ က်ခံခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ တႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ေလာက္ပဲ ေနခဲ့ရတယ္။ အဲဒီမွာ ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္နဲ႔ သိကၽြမ္းလာၿပီးေတာ့ ၂၀၀၅ ခုမွာ အမ်ဳိးသားေထာက္လွမ္းေရးေတြရဲ႕ မေလ်ာ္မကန္ လုပ္ရပ္ေတြေၾကာင့္ဆိုၿပီး က်ေနာ္တို႔ကို လႊတ္ေပးလိုက္တဲ့ အခ်ိန္မွာ က်ေနာ္တို႔က ၂၀၀၅ ခုႏွစ္မွာမွ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္း သားမ်ားဆိုၿပီး ဖြဲ႔စည္းခဲ့တာျဖစ္တယ္။ ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္ကိုက ၁၀ (က) နဲ႔ ႏွစ္ေစ့လို႔ လႊတ္ေပးလိုက္တာပါ”

ေဒသဆိုင္ရာအာဏာပိုင္ေတြဆိုတာ ဘယ္သူေတြကိုေျပာတာလဲ။

“ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ရဲ တိုင္းမႉး အဓိကပါ။ တိုင္းမႉးထုတ္ျပန္ထားတဲ့ ဥပေဒကို က်ေနာ္က ဆန္႔က်င္တဲ့အတြက္ေၾကာင့္ပါ။ အဲဒီတုန္းက တိုင္းမႉးက ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ေမာင္ဦးပါ။ ဥပမာ ဆိုင္ကယ္နဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လို႔ ဒဏ္ေငြရိုက္တယ္၊ အဲဒါေတြကို ျဖတ္ပိုင္းမေပးဘူး။ အဲဒါမ်ဳိး ေငြအလြဲသံုးစားလုပ္တဲ့ကိစၥေတြပါ”

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားအဖြဲ႔ကို ဘာေၾကာင့္ဖြဲ႔ရလဲ။ စဖြဲ႔ခ်ိန္မွာ ပါဝင္ခဲ့ပံု။

“၈၈ ေနာက္ပိုင္း ေက်ာင္းသားေတြ အကုန္လံုး ပါလာႏိုင္ေအာင္၊ ဒီမိုကေရစီနဲ႔ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးကို အာမခံခ်က္ရွိဖို႔၊ အေၾကာက္တရားေတြ ပယ္ေဖ်ာက္ႏိုင္ဖို႔အတြက္ပါ။ ဥကၠ႒၊ အတြင္းေရးမႉးဆိုၿပီး မရွိပါဘူး။ အလ်ားလိုက္ ဖြဲ႔စည္းပံုေပါ့ အကိုရာ။ ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္ကိုေတာ့ ေခါင္းေဆာင္အေနနဲ႔ ထားၿပီးေတာ့ က်န္တာကေတာ့ ပူးေပါင္းလုပ္ေဆာင္မႈပံုစံ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အစက ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္၊ ကိုကိုႀကီး၊ ကိုေဌးၾကြယ္၊ ကိုၿပံဳးခ်ဳိတို႔ သူတို႔ အဓိက ညွိႏိႈင္းၿပီးေတာ့မွ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အငယ္ေတြ ပါဝင္လာတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္”

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားအဖြဲ႔နဲ႔အတူ လႈပ္ရွားေနတုန္း ဘယ္လို ဖမ္းခံရတာလဲ။

“အဲဒီဟာမွာ ပါလာၿပီး ေနာက္ပိုင္းက်ေတာ့ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ေရးအဖြဲ႔ ဆိုၿပီး ဖြဲ႔စည္းပါတယ္။ အဲဒီမွာ တိုင္းရင္းသားကိစၥေတြကို ပိုၿပီးအာရံုစိုက္ဖို႔အတြက္ လိုအပ္လာတယ္လို႔ ထင္တဲ့အတြက္ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ေရးအဖြဲ႔မွာ က်ေနာ္ ပါဝင္လာတာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ေနာက္ေတာ့ ေလာင္ဆာဆီေစ်းတက္ၿပီးေတာ့ ကုန္ေစ်းႏႈန္း က်ဆင္းေရးေတြ ဘာေတြနဲ႔ ဆႏၵျပတဲ့ကိစၥေတြ ျဖစ္လာတဲ့အခါ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ကိုမင္းကိုႏိုင္တို႔ကို နအဖ က လိုက္ဖမ္းတဲ့အတြက္ ေရွာင္တဲ့လူကေရွာင္၊ ဖမ္းခံရသူကဖမ္းခံရ ျဖစ္လာပါတယ္”

တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ေရးအဖြဲ႔ဆိုတာ ဘယ္သူေတြ ပါတာလဲခင္ဗ်။

“ျပည္တြင္းမွာရွိတဲ့ ၁၉၉၀ အႏိုင္ရ တိုင္းရင္းသားပါတီေတြက nominate လုပ္ထားတဲ့ လူငယ္ေတြ၊ ေနာက္ တျခားတက္ၾကြလႈပ္ရွားတဲ့ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္ေတြ ပါဝင္ၾကပါတယ္။ UNA တို႔ UNLD တို႔မွာ ပါတဲ့ ပါတီေတြကို ေျပာတာပါ”

ကိုတင္ထူးေအာင္က ၂၀၀၇ မွာ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္ေဆာင္ရြက္ေရးအဖြဲ႔အေနနဲ႔ အဓိကပါဝင္ခဲ့တဲ့ သေဘာလား။

“၂၀၀၇ စက္တင္ဘာ လူထုလႈပ္ရွားမႈကို စနစ္တက်ျဖစ္ေအာင္ ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားေတြ၊ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္ေတြ၊ သံဃာေတာ္ေတြ၊ အႏုပညာရွင္ေတြ ပူးေပါင္းၿပီး ဖြဲ႔လိုက္တာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္”

“က်ေနာ္က မူဝါဒနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံျခားေရးတာဝန္ခံ တာဝန္ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ကိုေက်ာ္စိုးက မူဝါဒနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံေရး တာဝန္ခံပါ။ ကိုေက်ာ္ဝင္းေခ်နဲ႔ ေမာင္သန္းေရႊ က်ေတာ့ သီးသန္႔တာဝန္မရွိခဲ့ပါဘူး။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကို ကူတာပါ။ အခု အစည္းအေဝးထိုင္ဖို႔က က်ေနာ္တို႔ မရေသးပါဘူး။ ကိုစိုင္းမင္းလြင္တို႔နဲ႔ ေတြ႔ၿပီးပါၿပီ။ ကိုေက်ာ္စိုးနဲ႔ ဒီေန႔ေတြ႔ဖို႔ ခ်ိန္းထားပါတယ္။ ကိုစိုင္းမင္းလြင္က သတင္းနဲ႔ျပန္ၾကားေရး တာဝန္ခံပါ။ သူက ဦးေရႊအုန္းတို႔နဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး ပါလာတာပါ။ သူက ေရွာင္တိမ္းလိုက္တဲ့အတြက္ အဖမ္းမခံလိုက္ရပါဘူး”

၂၀၀၇ ခု ဆႏၵျပတာမွာ ပါခဲ့လို႔ ဖမ္းခံရတာက ဘယ္တုန္းကလဲ။

“ၾသဂုတ္လ ၂၄ ရက္ေန႔ည ည ၁၁ နာရီခြဲေလာက္မွာ က်ေနာ့္အိမ္ကို လာဖမ္းပါတယ္။ ပူးေပါင္းအဖြဲ႔လို႔ေတာ့ သူတို႔က ေျပာတာပဲ။ အက္စ္ဘီ၊ ရယက၊ စြမ္းအားရွင္ေတြေရာ အမ်ားႀကီး ပါတယ္လို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္ရယ္၊ မစႏၵာမင္း၊ ကိုႀကီးသန္းရယ္၊ ကိုေဌးၾကြယ္၊ ကိုလွမ်ဳိးေနာင္။ တခ်ိန္ထဲမွာ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အိမ္ေတြကို ဝိုင္းတဲ့သေဘာပါ။ က်ေနာ့္အိမ္က တံခါးႏွစ္ထပ္ရွိတဲ့အတြက္ ပထမ တထပ္ကို ဖြင့္ေနတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ က်ေနာ္က မသကၤာတဲ့အတြက္ ေနာက္ေဖးေပါက္က ေရွာင္သြားတာပါ”

“၂၀၀၇ ခု ေအာက္တိုဘာလကုန္ေလာက္မွာ ေျမနီကုန္း ဒဂံုစင္တာေရွ႕မွာ ဖမ္းခံရတာပါ။ သူတို႔က က်ေနာ့္သူငယ္ခ်င္းတေယာက္ကို ဖမ္းထားၿပီးေတာ့မွ က်ေနာ့္ကို ေခၚခိုင္းတဲ့ သေဘာပါ”

ဖမ္းခံရၿပီးေတာ့ ဘယ္ကို ေရာက္သြားလဲ။

“က်ေနာ့္ကို ရန္ကုန္ ေထာက္လွမ္ေရး-၂ မွာ တရက္ထားၿပီးေတာ့မွ အင္းစိန္ေထာင္ကို ပို႔ပါတယ္။ ပို႔ၿပီးေတာ့ အဲဒီမွာပဲ စစ္ေၾကာေရး လုပ္ပါတယ္။ စစ္ေၾကာေရးလုပ္ၿပီး ရံုးမတင္ အမႈမဖြင့္ပဲ အင္းစိန္ ေထာင္မွာ တိုက္ပိတ္ၿပီးေတာ့ေပါ့ေနာ္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ေတြကို တႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ေလာက္ ထားၿပီးမွ ရံုးထုတ္ အမိန္႔ခ်တာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။”

“စစ္ေၾကာေရးမွာ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားေတြရယ္၊ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္ထဲက ကိုေက်ာ္စိုးတို႔၊ ေနာက္ က်ေနာ္နဲ႔ပတ္သက္လို႔ ပါလာတဲ့သူ တခ်ဳိ႕နဲ႔အတူ အစစ္ခံခဲ့ရတာပါ။ ညဖက္ ေပးမအိပ္ဘဲနဲ႔ ေတာက္ေလွ်ာက္ စိတ္ပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာ ညွဥ္းဆဲမႈ လုပ္ၿပီးေတာ့ စစ္ေဆးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ရိုက္ႏွက္တာေတာ့ မရွိပါဘူးခင္ဗ်”

စီရင္ခ်က္ခ်ေတာ့ တတြဲထဲ ဘယ္သူေတြပါလဲ။

“က်ေနာ္ရယ္ ကိုေက်ာ္စိုး ေခၚ ကိုကန္လန္ခုပ္ရယ္၊ ကိုကတ္ခန္ခြာ (ဇိုမီး)၊ ကိုေက်ာ္ဝင္းေခ် (ရခိုင္)၊ ေမာင္သန္းေရႊ (ရခိုင္) ငါးေယာက္ အမႈတြဲကို ေပါင္းၿပီးေတာ့ ခ်ခဲ့တာပါ။ ေမာင္သန္းေရႊကေတာ့ ခုထိ မလြတ္ေသးပါဘူး သာယာဝတီေထာင္မွာ။ အဲဒါက က်ေနာ့္ကို တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္နဲ႔ စက္တင္ဘာလူထုလႈပ္ရွားမႈနဲ႔ပတ္သက္လို႔ ဆြဲလိုက္တဲ့အမႈတတြဲပါ။ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားနဲ႔ တတြဲက ဆက္တိုက္ ရံုးတက္ခဲ့ရပါေသးတယ္။ ကိုေက်ာ္စိုးက ဦးပူက်င့္ရွင္းထန္ရဲ႕ သားပါ”

“က်ေနာ့္နဲ႔ ကိုေက်ာ္စိုးကို ၃၃ ႏွစ္ပါ။ က်န္တဲ့သူေတြက ၈ ႏွစ္ေတြ၊ ၁၀ ႏွစ္ေတြပါ။ တခ်ဳိ႕ကလည္း အယူခံမဝင္ၾကပါဘူး။ က်ေနာ့္ကို အယူခံ ဝင္လိုက္ေသးပါတယ္။ အယူခံမွာ ၁၃ ႏွစ္ ေလ်ာ့သြားပါတယ္။ အႏွစ္ ၂၀ ပဲ က်န္တာေပါ့။ အယူခံႏိုင္တဲ့ကိစၥ ခႏၱီးေထာင္မွာပဲ သိရတာပါ။ ၂၀၀၉ ခု ဒီဇင္ဘာလေလာက္မွာ ခႏၱီးေထာင္ကို ပို႔လိုက္တာျဖစ္ပါတယ္”

“ေမာင္သန္းေရႊကလြဲၿပီး က်န္သူေတြ လြတ္ပါၿပီ။ ေမာင္သန္းေရြက ၂ ႏွစ္ ေလာက္ပဲ က်န္ပါေတာ့မယ္ ေျပာပါတယ္”

ခႏၱီးေထာင္ထဲမွာ တိုင္းရင္းသားျဖစ္လို႔ ခြဲျခားဆက္ဆံတာ ခံရဖူးလား။

“မရွိပါဘူး။ ေထာင္ထဲမွာ တျခား ေဒသခံေတြေပၚမွာေတာ့ ဖိႏွိပ္တာ။ စိတ္ပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာ ညွဥ္းဆဲမႈေတြေတာ့ ျမင္ေတြ႔ရပါတယ္။ ေထာင္ပိုင္ ဦးေစာရစ္ခ်တ္ လက္ထက္ကပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကို ကူညီဖို႔အတြက္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ တိုက္နားကို ကပ္လာတဲ့ လူေတြ၊ ေရထမ္းတဲ့လူေတြကို ေျခခ်င္းခတ္တာတို႔၊ ေဒါက္ခတ္တာတို႔၊ တိုက္ပိတ္တာ၊ ေလွ်ာ့ရက္ျဖတ္တာတို႔ လုပ္တာ ရွိပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔နဲ႔ အဆက္အသြယ္ မလုပ္ရဘူး ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့”

“က်ေနာ့္ကို ခႏၱီးေထာင္ ၂-တိုက္ထဲမွာ သီးသန္႔ထားတာပါ။ အဲဒီမွာ က်ေနာ္ရယ္ MI က ဗိုလ္မႉးခ်ဳပ္ သန္းထြန္းရယ္၊ ဦးေဇာ္လ၊ ဝ’ က မူးယစ္ေဆးဝါးနဲ႔ ေထာင္ဒဏ္ တသက္က်ေနတဲ့ ဦးအိုက္စံရယ္။ တေယာက္တခန္းစီပါ”

ခႏၱီးေထာင္မွာ ရာသီဥတု အေျခအေနနဲ႔ က်န္းမာေရးအေျခအေန ေျပာျပပါ။

“ရာသီဥတု ေအးပါတယ္။ ရာသီဥတုၾကမ္းတမ္းၿပီး ငွက္ဖ်ားလည္း ေပါပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္ဆိုရင္ စေရာက္တုန္းက တႏွစ္မွာ ရွစ္ႀကိမ္ေလာက္ ငွက္ဖ်ားျဖစ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ အဲဒါကို သူတို႔ ICRC က ေပးထားတဲ့ ေဆးဝါးေတြနဲ႔ ကုသေပးပါတယ္။ အဓိက ခႏၱီးေထာင္မွာ အခက္ခဲကေတာ့ သန္႔ရွင္းတဲ့ မိလႅာစနစ္ မရွိပါဘူး။ စိတ္ခ်ရတဲ့ ေသာက္သံုးေရစနစ္လည္း မရွိပါဘူး။ အဲဒီႏွစ္ခုက လက္ရွိအခ်ိန္ထိ အခက္ခဲပါ။ ေနာက္ ေဆးဝါးမလံုေလာက္မႈေတြနဲ႔ ႀကံဳေတြ႔ေနရပါတယ္”

ေထာင္ဝင္စာ လာေတြ႔ခြင့္ရလား။ ေတြ႔ခြင့္ရင္ လြတ္လြတ္လပ္လပ္ ေတြ႔ရလား။ စာဖတ္ခြင့္။

“ေထာင္ဝင္စာ လာေတြ႔တာေတာ့ သူတို႔ ဥပေဒ စည္းမ်ဥ္းစည္းကမ္းနဲ႔ တခါေတြ႔ရင္ မိနစ္ ၂၀ ေလာက္ပဲ ေတြ႔ရပါတယ္။ လြတ္လြတ္လပ္လပ္ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ ေထာင္ဝင္စာ လိုက္မွတ္တယ္။ အက္စ္ဘီေတြက လာၾကည့္တယ္။ လာမၾကည့္ရင္လည္း အသံဖမ္းတဲ့ MP3 တို႔ MP4 တို႔ကို အနားမွာ လာခ်ထားတယ္။ အိမ္ကပို႔တဲ့ စာအုပ္ေတြ၊ ခႏၱီးၿမိဳ႕ေပၚက မွာတဲ့ ဂ်ာနယ္ေတြ ဖတ္ခြင့္ရပါတယ္”

အခု ေထာင္က ထြက္လာၿပီဆိုေတာ့ ဘာေတြ လုပ္မယ္လို႔ စိတ္ကူးထားလဲ။

“က်ေနာ္တို႔ရဲ႕ မဟာဗ်ဴဟာ ရည္မွန္းခ်က္ေတြ၊ နည္းဗ်ဴဟာဆိုင္ရာ လုပ္ေဆာင္ခ်က္ေတြအေပၚမွာ ျပန္လည္သံုးသပ္ၿပီး ဆက္လုပ္သြားမယ္လို႔ ခုခ်ိန္မွာ ဒီေလာက္ပဲ ေျပာႏိုင္ေသးပါတယ္။ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူငယ္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ ေရးအဖြဲ႔ကို ပိုၿပီးေတာ့ စနစ္က်ေအာင္၊ ပိုၿပီးေတာ့ စြမ္းေဆာင္ရည္ျမင့္ေအာင္ အဲဒါေတြပါ”

ရခိုင္ဆိုရင္ ဦးေအးသာေအာင္တို႔ ALD ရွိတယ္။ ေနာက္ RNDP ရွိတယ္။ အဲဒီအဖြဲ႔ေတြနဲ႔ ဘယ္လို ဆက္စပ္မလဲ။

“က်ေနာ္က ရခိုင္နဲ႔ပတ္သက္လို႔က ပါတီေတြကို ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲသြားမယ္ဆိုလည္း အကြဲကြဲအျပားျပား မျဖစ္ဘဲနဲ႔ ပါတီတခုထဲ စုစည္းၿပီးေတာ့ ျဖစ္ခ်င္တဲ့ သေဘာပဲ က်ေနာ့္မွာ ရွိပါတယ္။ အဲဒါေတြေတာ့ ရခိုင္ပါတီေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြနဲ႔ ညွိႏိႈင္းရမွာပဲ”

“UNDP ရဲ႕ ထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္အရ ခ်င္းနဲ႔ ရခိုင္ဟာ ဆင္းရဲမြဲေတမႈဟာ ေအာက္ဆံုးမွာ ေရာက္ေနပါတယ္။ အဲဒီေတာ့ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္မွာ အလုပ္ကိုင္ရရွိဖို႔အတြက္ရယ္၊ ရခိုင္လူမ်ဳိးေတြရဲ႕ စြမ္းေဆာင္ရည္ ျမွင့္တင္ေပးဖို႔ capacity building လုပ္ဖို႔ ရည္မွန္းထားပါတယ္။ မီးရရွိေရးကေတာ့ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္က ထြက္တဲ့ သဘာဝဓာတ္ေငြ႔ေတြ၊ သယံဇာတေတြကိုေတာ့ ရခိုင္ျပည္သူေတြ စီမံခန္႔ခြဲ ပိုင္ခြင့္ရွိတယ္လို႔ ျမင္ပါတယ္”

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံက တိုင္းရင္းသားေတြ အားလံုး အဓိက ဘာေတြ လိုအပ္ေနတယ္လို႔ ယူဆလဲ။

“ႏိုင္ငံေရးနဲ႔ပတ္သက္ၿပီး လိုလားတာကေတာ့ ဘယ္လို အစိုးရမ်ဳိးမွာပဲျဖစ္ျဖစ္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ရဲ႕ ဘဝနဲ႔ အနာဂတ္ကံၾကမၼာကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ ရရွိထားတဲ့ လုပ္ပိုင္ခြင့္ေတြနဲ႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ကိုယ္တိုင္ စီမံခန္႔ခြဲႏိုင္မႈမ်ဳိးကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ လိုခ်င္တာပါ။ ဒီလိုဟာမ်ဳိးသာလ်င္ မဟာလူမ်ဳိးႀကီးဝါဒ အေျခမျပဳဘဲ ႏိုင္ငံေရး တရားမွ်မႈ ျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္။ ဒီလိုလုပ္ေဆာင္ႏိုင္တဲ့တေန႔မွာလည္း ရွမ္း၊ ကယား၊ ကရင္ စတဲ့တိုင္းရင္းသားေဒသေတြမွာ ယမ္းေငြ႔ေတြ ဆိတ္သုဥ္းၿပီး အိုးစည္နဲ႔ ဖားစည္သံေတြ ေဝလာဖို႔ က်ေနာ္ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္”

အစိုးရကလည္း အခု ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးကိစၥေတြလုပ္ေနတယ္။ NLD နဲ႔ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကလည္း ၾကားျဖတ္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲဝင္ေတာ့မယ္ အဲဒီအေပၚမွာ ဘာေျပာခ်င္လဲ။

“ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္နဲ႔ NLD ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ဝင္မဝင္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ သေဘာထားမွတ္ခ်က္ ေပးစရာအေၾကာင္း မရွိပါဘူး။ ဒါေပမယ့္ တိုင္းရင္းသား ျဖစ္တည္မႈ၊ ကိုယ့္ကံၾကမၼာကိုယ္ ဖန္တီးခြင့္၊ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လာရင္ေတာ့ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္နဲ႔ ဗမာ ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြ အမ်ားႀကီး သင္ယူရမွာျဖစ္သလို၊ က်ေနာ္တို႔ တိုင္းရင္းသားေတြရဲ႕ ဘဝနဲ႔ အနာဂတ္ ကံၾကမၼာကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ ျပည္သူေတြ ကိုယ္တိုင္ဖန္တီးၾကရမယ္လို႔ ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္”

“ေနာက္ၿပီးေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တို႔အေနနဲ႔ ေရွ႕လာမယ့္ ခရီးလမ္းတေလွ်ာက္မွာ လက္ရွိအစိုးရနဲ႔ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ဆီက ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ရိုးသားတည္ၾကည္မႈနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ယံုၾကည္စိတ္ခ်မႈကို စိတ္အားထက္သန္စြာ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ေနတယ္လို႔ပဲ က်ေနာ္ ေျပာပါရေစခင္ဗ်။”

အခု လြတ္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းသာခြင့္နဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး ဘာေျပာခ်င္လဲ။

“က်ေနာ္တို႔ ျပန္လြတ္လာေအာင္ လႈပ္ရွားရုန္းကန္ေပးၾကတဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီအင္အားစုေတြ၊ တိုင္းရင္းသား ျပည္သူတရပ္လံုး၊ ဒီမိုကေရစီဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးအတြက္ အားေပးေထာက္ခံၾကတဲ့ မိတ္ေဆြႏိုင္ငံမ်ားအားလံုး၊ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈနဲ႔အေျပာင္းအလဲအတြက္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ေနသူအားလံုးကို ေက်းဇူးတင္ေၾကာင္း ေျပာလိုပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ လြတ္တာမလြတ္တာထက္ တိုင္းျပည္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္း ေရးႏွင့္ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးက ပိုၿပီးအခရာက်ပါတယ္”

“လက္ရွိအစိုးရကို က်ေနာ္ေျပာလိုတာက စစ္မွန္တဲ့အမ်ဳိးသားျပန္လည္သင့္ျမတ္ေရးႏွင့္ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈကို လိုလားတယ္ဆိုရင္ General Amnesty အေထြေထြ လြတ္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းသာခြင့္ ေပးဖို႔ ေတာင္းဆိုပါရေစ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ႏိုင္ငံကို ကမၻာ့ႏိုင္ငံေတြၾကားမွာ ေပ်ာက္ဆံုးခဲ့တာၾကာၿပီျဖစ္တဲ့ ယံုၾကည္မႈ၊ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာနဲ႔အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရာ စံတန္ဘိုး ေလးစားလိုက္နာမႈေတြကို ျပန္လည္ရ ယူဖို႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ေတြ အားလံုး ဝိုင္းဝန္း ႀကိဳးပမ္းၾကရေအာင္လို႔ ေျပာပါရေစ”

Saturday, 21 January 2012

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား၏ သေဘာထားထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္

photo - messenger journal/facebook

စာအမွတ္ - ၁/၂ဝ၁၂ (၈၈)
၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္က်ာင္းသားမ်ား
၂၁ - ဇန္နဝါရီ -၂ဝ၁၂
ရန္ကုန္၊ ျမန္မာ။

၁။ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားသည္ ဒီမိုကေရစီေရး၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး၊ တိုင္းျပည္ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးအတြက္ ၁၉၈၈ ခုႏႇစ္ ၈၈၈၈ အေရးေတာ္ပံုႀကီးမႇ စတင္၍ အစဥ္တစိုက္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းေဆာင္ရြက္ေနၾကသူမ်ား ျဖစ္သည္။

၂။ ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔ႏိုင္ငံသားမ်ားသည္ စစ္ေရး၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရး၊ စီးပြားေရးမူ၀ါဒအမႇားမ်ား ဒီမိုကေရစီ ဆိတ္သုန္းမႈမ်ားေၾကာင့္ ဆင္းရဲႏြမ္းပါးမႈ၊ ပညာေရး၊ က်န္းမာေရးနိမ့္က်မႈစသည့္ လူမႈဒုကၡ အ၀၀ကို ဆယ္စုႏႇစ္ငါးခုေက်ာ္ ခံစားခဲ့ၾကရၿပီးျဖစ္သည္။

၃။ ယေန႔အခ်ိန္အထိ စစ္မႇန္ေသာ ဒီမုိကေရစီေဖာ္ေဆာင္ေရး၊ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး၊ ဖြံ႕ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးတို႔အတြက္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးလမ္းေၾကာင္းေပၚသို႔ ဦးတည္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းၾကရမည့္ အခ်ိန္ျဖစ္သည္ဟု ယံုၾကည္သည္။

၄။ စစ္မႇန္ေသာ ဒီမုိကေရစီေဖာ္ေဆာင္ေရးအတြက္ လာမည့္ၾကားျဖတ္ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ၀င္ေရာက္ ယႇဥ္ၿပိဳင္ရန္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္၏ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္အား ေထာက္ခံသည္။ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားအေနျဖင့္ အားေပး ၀န္းရံသြားမည္။

၅။ ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးႏႇင့္ပတ္သက္၍ လက္ရႇိေဆာင္ရြက္ေနေသာ ေတြ႔ဆံုေဆြးေႏြးေရး ျဖစ္စဥ္မ်ားမႇတစ္ဆင့္ ပိုမိုက်ယ္ျပန္႔ျပည့္စံုေသာ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးလုပ္ငန္းစဥ္မ်ား ျဖစ္ေပၚေစရန္ အမ်ဳိးသားအင္အားစုအားလံုးႏႇင့္ လက္တြဲေဆာင္ရြက္သြားမည္။

၆။ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္သစ္တည္ေဆာက္ေရးအတြက္ လူ႔စြမ္းအား အရင္းအျမစ္မ်ားအား ျပန္လည္ စုစည္းႏိုင္ရန္၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ထိန္းသိမ္းခံထားရသည့္ က်န္ရႇိေနေသာ ႏိုင္ငံေရး အက်ဥ္းသားအားလံုး ျပန္လည္လႊတ္ေပးေရး၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ တိုင္းျပည္မႇ ထြက္ခြာခဲ့ရေသာ ျပည္ပေရာက္ႏိုင္ငံေရး အင္အားစုမ်ား ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရႇိရႇိ ျပန္လာႏိုင္ေရးတို႔အတြက္ ျပည္ေထာင္စုအစိုးရမႇ အျမန္ဆံုးေဆာင္ရြက္ေပးပါရန္ ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔မႇ အေလးအနက္ တိုက္တြန္းအပ္ပါသည္။

၇။ အမ်ဳိးသားစီးပြား ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးႏႇင့္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္၏ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာ ျမင့္မားလာေစေရးအတြက္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာႏႈန္းစံမ်ားႏႇင့္အညီ က်င့္သံုးေဆာင္ရြက္မႈမ်ား၊ အိမ္နီးခ်င္းႏိုင္ငံမ်ားအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာမိသားစုမ်ားႏႇင့္ ဆက္ဆံေရး တိုးျမင့္လာေစရန္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းေဆာင္ရြက္မႈမ်ားအား အားေပးေထာက္ခံသြားမည္။

၈။ ဒီမိုကေရစီအေရး၊ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး၊ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရးတို႔အတြက္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္သမၼတဦးေဆာင္သည့္ အစိုးရအဖြဲ႔၊ ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္၊ အမ်ဳိးသားလႊတ္ေတာ္၊ တပ္မေတာ္အင္အားစု၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးပါတီအသီးသီး၊ တိုင္းရင္းသားအင္အားစုမ်ားအပါအ၀င္ ျမန္မာ့လူ႔အဖြဲ႔စည္းတစ္ရပ္လံုးရႇိ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရး အင္အားစုမ်ားႏႇင့္ ကိုယ္စြမ္း ဥာဏ္စြမ္းရႇိသမွ် ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္သြားမည္။

၉။ ျမန္မာႏို္င္ငံဒီမိုကေရစီအေရး၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးႀကိဳးပမ္းမႈမ်ားတြင္ အားေပးကူညီေထာက္ခံေနေသာ ျပည္တြင္းျပည္ပ အဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ား၊ လူပုဂၢိဳလ္မ်ား၊ ႏိုင္ငံတကာမိသားစုမ်ားႏႇင့္ လက္ရႇိျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရး လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္မ်ားကို ယံုၾကည္ထက္သန္စြာ အေကာင္အထည္ေဖာ္ေနသူအားလံုးအား ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔ ၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားမႇ အေလးအနက္ တန္ဖိုးထားအပ္ပါသည္။

၈၈ မ်ဳိးဆက္ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား

The Last Night in the Cell

By KYAW ZWA MOE Saturday, January 21, 2012

It was Jan. 12, the night before they were freed.

Pyone Cho, a leading member of the 88 Generation Students group detained in the remote Kawthaung Prison in southern Burma's Tenasserim Division, was immersed in a weekly journal when a prison guard he hadn't noticed standing in front of his cell asked him what he was reading.

Then the guard, speaking to him through the iron bars of Cell No. 6, told him the news: “You will be freed tomorrow.”

Pyone Cho wasn’t convinced. Coincidentally, the 46-year-old former student leader was reading about the “clemency” ordered by President Thein Sein on Jan. 3, just nine days earlier, which saw the release of around 30 political prisoners among more than 6,000 criminal convicts.

Pyone Cho, center, a leading activist of the 88 Generation Students Group, waves at his colleagues welcoming his arrival at Yangon airport after released from Kawthaung Prison in Tenasserim Division on Jan. 13. 2012. (PHOTO: Associated Press)
Under the clemency, his original 65-year sentence was reduced to around 30 years. It seemed unlikely that another amnesty would be ordered again so soon.

But when the guard added that the prison had already booked his flight back to Rangoon, he started to doubt his assumption. Before he could say anything in reply, however, the guard disappeared without another word.

Suddenly alone with his thoughts, he began to wonder if the new amnesty, if it was for real, would apply to other members of the 88 Generation Students group. Almost all of them were serving sentences similar to his own for their role in protests against a dramatic rise in fuel prices in July 2007 that months later sparked the Buddhist monk-led Saffron Revolution, Burma's biggest mass uprising in decades.

As a veteran of Burma's pro-democracy movement, his first thought was how he and his colleagues could continue the struggle they began in 1988, when nationwide demonstrations toppled a military-backed socialist regime, only to be crushed by a new and even more brutal junta. He had already spent 15 years behind bars for his leading role in those protests; combined with the years he had served since his second jail term began in 2007, he had spent nearly half his life in prison for his political activities.

Still finding it difficult to believe that he would be released again so soon, but with his mind already racing ahead with ideas about how he and his fellow activists could accelerate the reforms begun by Thein Sein so that Burma could finally catch up with the rest of the region, he found it impossible to sleep. One issue that loomed large in his mind that night was Burma's ethnic conflicts, which he saw as the most important problem facing the country.

Over the past four years, Pyone Cho had spent much of his time reading. He read Nelson Mandela's “Long Walk to Freedom,” biographies of US President Barack Obama and former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and novels. But the reading material he dedicated most of his time to was Burma's 2008 Constitution, drafted by a committee dominated by delegates handpicked by the former junta.

Another pastime was painting, an activity normally prohibited in Burma's prisons, but which he had somehow managed to convince the prison authorities to allow him to do. In four years, he finished around 20 paintings—mostly imagined landscapes, but also a few depicting the prison and his cell.

His mind still very active after so many years in prison, Pyone Cho spent his final night in prison thinking about the future. At the same time, he thought of his brother, Thet Win Aung, who he knew would never see freedom again. Also a political activist, Thet Win Aung died in 2006 while serving a lengthy sentence.

With such thoughts crowding into his mind, he resigned himself to a sleepless night and the uncertainty of the day that lie ahead.


That same night, but hundreds of miles away in another remote corner of Burma, Ant Bwe Kyaw sat in his cell in Katha Prison in Sagaing Division. Political colleagues since 1988, he and Pyone Cho were arrested together in 2007. Both men were 46 years old, and both had spent much of their lives behind bars.

Ant Bwe Kyaw's cell was one of just three in his cell block. His neighbors were a former lieutenant-colonel in Burma's infamous military intelligence service and an IT guy imprisoned for helping an activist group.

Nearby was a ward for female prisoners, including Hla Hla Win, a young reporter who was serving a lengthy sentence for sending information to the Democratic Voice of Burma.
Ant Bwe Kyaw, a leading activist of the 88 Generation Students group
Shortly before 8 pm on Jan. 12, Ant Bwe Kyaw heard the sound of hands clapping from the women's ward. Moments later, he heard Hla Hla Win shouting out his name. Although he could barely see her face from his cell, he could easily imagine the excitement it expressed. “I think this is our time,” she shouted. “They just announced on TV that 651 prisoners are going to be released tomorrow.”

Unlike the female prisoners, who were allowed to watch TV for a short time in the evenings, Ant Bwe Kyaw had to wait until 8 o'clock to hear the announcement with his own ears. At that time every evening, the prison played the national news over the radio for all inmates to hear. The announcement said that the 651 prisoners would be released “for national reconciliation.” This phrase made him feel almost certain that he and other political prisoners would be released the next day. His first thought was that it would be very good to reunite with his 88 Generation colleagues.

Normally at this time of night, he would spend some time reading before meditating for about half an hour and then going to bed. But on this night, he was too excited to read as usual, so he made himself a strong cup of instant coffee and started thinking about the books he would take with him when he was released.

He decided that he would donate most of his Burmese books to the prison library and fellow prisoners but keep a few books on philosophy and some novels in English, including “Norwegian Wood” and “Kafka on the Shore” by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, whose books he enjoyed for their unusual descriptions.

Another favorite book was “Dreams from My Father,” by US President Barack Obama, which contained a sentence that he found so striking that he wrote it down in his notebook: “What I do know is that history returned that day with a vengeance; that, in fact, as Faulkner reminds us, the past is never dead and buried—it isn’t even past.”

After a long, cold and almost sleepless night, Ant Bwe Kyaw heard a guard approach his cell at around 4 am. Getting as close to the cell door as possible and speaking in a whisper, the guard said: “The list has just arrived. You're on it. But your neighbors are not.”

Even then, Ant Bwe Kyaw could hardly believe that he was about to be freed. Sensing his doubt, the guard just asked if he could have his blanket when he left.

Like Pyone Cho, Ant Bwe Kyaw spent his remaining hours behind bars thinking about how he and his colleagues could resume their political activities. He felt that Thein Sein’s reforms were just a start, a dirt track on the way to democracy that needed to be turned into a highway. It would be up to him and his colleagues to accelerate the process of constructing Burma’s road to freedom.

But even as his own freedom seemed more certain and his dreams of change began to dawn as a real possibility, he could not help but think of those he would soon be leaving behind. He hoped that they and all of Burma’s political prisoners, scattered in prisons around the country, would also soon be able to rejoin the struggle for their country’s freedom.


Ko Ko Gyi, the second most prominent 88 Generation leader after Min Ko Naing, had no idea on the evening of Jan. 12 that his release from Mong Hset Prison in Shan State was imminent. The 50-year-old former student leader believed that the government was facing an internal power struggle and would never allow him and his colleagues to join forces again at such a sensitive time.

He also knew that Burma’s rulers were always very careful to keep the 88 Generation group away from Aung San Suu Kyi. When they were released before, she was under house arrest; and whenever she was freed, they were behind bars. If they and Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) had a chance to work together, they could prove to be a formidable political force. While the NLD dominated Burma’s party politics, the 88 Generation leaders had achieved spectacular results in organizing popular protests that presented a more direct challenge to the military’s political supremacy.

Like Pyone Cho and Ant Bwe Kyaw, Ko Ko Gyi had spent about 15 years in prison after the 1988 uprising, before being sentenced to another 65 years after the Saffron Revolution.

Also like them, he was tireless in his efforts to find solutions to Burma’s political problems, which had left the country divided and impoverished.
Ko Ko Gyi, center right, a leading activist of the 88 Generation Students Group, waves his hand to his colleagues as he arrives at Rangoon airport after released from Mong Hset Prison, Shan State, on Jan. 13, 2012. (PHOTO: Associated Press
Another thing all three had in common was their keen interest in reading. Ko Ko Gyi had also read Obama’s books, “The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams of My Father,” and felt they contained valuable lessons. “Obama is practical,” said Ko Ko Gyi, whose respect for pragmatism had deepened after years of pursuing political ideals.

He said that when he was younger, he was impressed by Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his fellow revolutionaries, who started out with just 12 rifles. Now, however, he felt that Burma needed more than just young idealists ready to give their lives to the struggle. “If only revolutionaries govern a country, the country will be in trouble.”

That’s why he said he welcomed Suu Kyi’s decision to work together with the government formed last year, even if its democratic credentials left a great deal to be desired. Sometimes, he said, it is easier to risk being thrown in jail than to make risky political decisions that not everybody supports.

Ko Ko Gyi had no illusions about what “power sharing” with the current government would mean. Instead of a 50-50 arrangement, the military would insist on retaining 70 or 80 percent of its former monopoly on power. But at this stage, it didn’t matter so much who was the biggest winner in this “win-win” deal: The important thing was to recognize that there were more than just two players, and that all stakeholders should benefit from any agreements reached.

So what role did he see for himself and other activists? Essentially, he said, they were “catalysts,” agents of reform who could bring credibility to the political transition process and help keep it on the right track.

But they alone would not be able to get the country get back on its feet. “During the transition period, we need Burmese technocrats, including those who were educated in foreign countries. They need skills, goodwill and passion to contribute to the country. They don't need any experience like us in jail.”

Did he really believe that the country was finally beginning a genuine process of reform? Or did he fear, like so many others, that the current situation could easily reverse itself, undoing the progress of the past year?

“We can never be certain what tomorrow will bring,” said Ko Ko Gyi. “All we can do is work together to make tomorrow a better day than today.”


The following day, all three men were freed along other members of the 88 Generation Students group being held in prisons around the country. Crowds of their supporters gathered to hear what they had to say as they made their way back to Rangoon. Min Ko Naing, who was released from Thayet Prison in Magway Division, delivered speeches that were received with rousing cheers. They were given garlands of flowers like returning war heroes, but in their own minds they were returning to the battlefield—the subtle, treacherous and exhilarating battlefield of a new era in Burmese politics.

Speech of General Aung San