Saturday, November 15, 2008


December 11 is my father's birthday. We will do something good on that day. Time is running so fast. We have been living apart for almost 18 years. What did we achieve within these years ? I think we did our best on our part. My mom's unshakable attitudes are so much compatible with my dad's unbowed accomplishments. My mom at the moment have already brought up two sons and one daughter to be educated ones. Whatever the difficulties down the road, we will try to overcome with the strength and power of love provided by my parents. Now my father is the MP serving the longest prison term in Myit-Kyi-Na prison. My mom will see him on November 23 with my sister. Let the hardships of our family be known by those people who are trying for democracy in Burma. Honesty will last foreever. We hope for moral support. I would say this is the time we need to be united again to put our names in history. A weell-known Burmese writer Ba Maw Tin Aung said that the value of a person can be assessed by how much he did national duties put on his shoulders by history. As both his son and a citizen of Burma, I give him due respect on his coming 58 th birthday. Long live ! Father. We need your energy and dedication for our country. Truth will be written in Burmse history.

Childhood Photo

Monday, November 10, 2008

Burmese dissident deserves release

By Zin Linn
Column: Burma Question Published: November 07, 2008
Original Post-

Bangkok, Thailand — Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a prisoner of conscience for a few days in the Burmese military junta's infamous Insein prison? The military authorities confine you in an undersized cell, 8.5 by 11.5 feet, with only a bamboo mat on the concrete floor. Sleeping, eating, walking and going to the bathroom are all done in the same place.
You cannot see the sun, the moon or the stars. You are intentionally barred from breathing fresh air, eating nutritious food and drinking pure water. Books, periodicals, radio and television are out of the question. If you get sick, no medical worker will check on you until you have lost consciousness.

Under such harsh conditions, Zaw Myint Maung, an experienced physician who never committed even a small crime, has been languishing in prison for nearly two decades. As a one-time cell mate of his, each moment I think about his situation in the junta's atrocious dungeon, I feel uneasy.

It was 1994, in the cell compound of the infamous Insein Prison. I was in cell No. 10 of cell block No. 3 with Zaw Myint Maung, a healthy and handsome man of short stature with tan skin. He was very kind and helpful not only to inmates, but also to wardens and prison officers, who consulted him in health matters. Because of his calm, warm manner as an experienced medical doctor, the prison staff paid him respect behind the military intelligence officers’ backs.

Hence, he managed to form a medical assistance committee in prison, smuggling medicines and disposable syringes into prison cells. He treated his fellow inmates’ various sicknesses and even did minor surgeries with the help of the wardens who respected him. Many wardens regarded the doctor as their health consultant in those days.

A graduate from the Mandalay Institute of Medicine in 1979, he became head physician of Ywar-thit-kyi District Hospital in Sgaing Division in 1982. He worked in the biochemistry department of the Mandalay Institute of Medicine for eight years. During the 1988 People's Uprising, he was elected secretary of the Mandalay Doctors' Association.

Then he became a member of the National League for Democracy and was later elected as a member of Parliament from Mandalay’s Amarapura township in 1990. After the junta refused to honor the election results, he and some members of Parliament held secret meetings to find a political way out. As a result, Zaw Myint Maung was arrested on Nov. 22 and put on trial for allegedly participating in meetings to form a parallel government. He was charged with treason against the nation and sentenced to 25 years in prison at a military tribunal with no legal representation.

He has been languishing in the junta's hellish prison for 18 years, or one-third of his life. While in Insein Prison, he underwent many interrogations by intelligence officials about his views on the military regime and political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. The authorities tried to persuade him to collaborate with them, but they could not win over his strong political aspiration of building a democratic Burma. As a staunch supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi, he is on the top of the junta's blacklist.

I remember one noteworthy vision of the doctor. He said, “Democracy is on the march around the world, including Burma. But we need commitment to work selflessly with grassroots people until the day that a free Burma emerges. The struggle for freedom may need more time. But it will not be beyond measure. It’s a war between the just and unjust. The just will prevail at last."

In 1995, fellow political prisoners from various organizations actively worked to collect valid facts and figures on human rights abuses experienced in prison, for a report to be sent to the United Nations on the situation of human rights in Burma. Zaw Myint Maung was one of the coordinators of this effort.

On July 15, 1995, the report, "Human Rights Abuses in the Junta's Prisons," together with a petition of over 100 political prisoners, was successfully smuggled out. Within weeks, the report was sent to Yozo Yokota, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Burma.

The release of both the report and the petition hurt the junta’s image and made the generals extremely angry. Consequently, the prison cell compound was searched, and many inmates were thrown into dark cells and interrogated while being deprived of food and sleep.

Zaw Myint Maung was one of 24 political prisoners who were given further prison sentences on March 28, 1996, in connection with their circulation of news journals within the prison and their efforts to report human rights violations to the United Nations. The doctor was alleged to have written politically agitating poems and to have signed a petition for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

During the investigation, he and seven others, including U Win Tin, a famous journalist and senior member of the NLD, were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floors without bedding during winter and left without food and water.

Maung was held in a dog cell between Nov. 1995 and May 1996. The group of 24 had no attorneys to defend them against the charges they faced. They were charged with threatening prison security and forming anti-junta organizations in prison. The doctor was then sentenced to an additional 12 years’ imprisonment under both charges.

On April 3, 1997, he was transferred to the Myit-kyi-na prison in the state of Kachin, which is in the north of Burma and has extreme weather. Harsh prison conditions are still commonplace in Burmese prisons, and many prisoners suffer from serious mental disorders resulting from long periods of solitary confinement.

Prisoners cannot get essential medical treatment even in Insein Prison, which is the model prison in Burma. Even worse is the fact that when political prisoners face a fatal illness, they will not be hospitalized unless they abandon their dissident beliefs. Hundreds of deaths are due to the authorities' unnecessarily negligence in medical treatment. Currently, there are more than 2,100 political prisoners in Burma, including 18 members of Parliament, 178 female prisoners and 213 Buddhist monks.

The valiant, imprisoned physician has constantly refused to sign a confession promising to abandon his political beliefs as a condition for his release. Zaw Myint Maung is the father of two sons and one daughter. He has not been able to show fatherly love to his children for nearly two decades. He himself has been suffering from hemorrhoids and stomach pain. With his 57th birthday approaching on Dec. 11, the doctor deserves freedom as a birthday present for his contributions to society.

Burma has been called "the world's largest open prison for prisoners of conscience." There are over 2,100 political prisoners still languishing in Burmese prisons, among whom Zaw Myint Maung may be Burma's longest-serving prisoner of conscience.

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." But Zaw Myint Maung has been suffering from torture and three unjust prison sentences for almost 37 years.

It would be great if international NGOs launched a concerted effort to free political prisoners in Burma, since this situation not only involves regional politics, but is also connected with global humanitarianism. For that reason, the United Nations, ASEAN, the European Union and China should consider pressuring the State Peace and Development Council to free all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.


(Zin Linn is a freelance Burmese journalist living in exile. He currently serves as information director of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma in Bangkok, Thailand. He is also vice-president of the Burma Media Association, which is affiliated with the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers. He can be contacted at ©Copyright Zin Linn.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


18 Years in Prison and Counting
By ZIN LINN Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Few people know him—the 57-year-old physician who has spent the past 18 years in the Burmese regime’s prison cells, sleeping on a rough mat and eating scraps of food alone in a dark cell with bad air and no sunlight.

He has no idea if he will ever live with his wife, two sons and daughter again.

Zaw Myint Maung has spent the past 18 years in the junta’s jails.
His name is Zaw Myint Maung, and he was detained after winning a seat in the 1990 elections in Amarapura Township in Mandalay, an election that was nullified by the military regime. He was accused of high treason for his efforts to work with pro-democracy colleagues who were trying to find a way to bridge differences between the movement and the junta. He received a 25-year prison sentence.

In 1994, I was his cellmate in cell No. 10 in cellblock 3 in the infamous Insein Prison in Rangoon.

Zaw Myint Maung is a handsome man, short in stature with tan skin. He is always very kind and helpful, not only to fellow prisoners but also to wardens and prison officers, who often consult with him on health matters. Because of his calm and warm manner, and his stature as an experienced medical doctor, the prison staff paid him respect when military intelligence officers were not around.

He managed to form a medical assistance committee in his cell compound and sometimes succeeded in smuggling medicine and disposable syringes into the prison. He treated inmates for various illnesses, and even performed minor surgery with the help of sympathetic prison officials.

In Insein Prison, the military intelligence officials interrogated him and tried to persuade him to collaborate with them in exchange for his release. He never wavered in his loyalty to the democracy movement.

I remember him saying words to the effect: “Democracy is on the march around the world, including Burma. But we need commitment to work selflessly with grassroots people until the day that a free Burma emerges. The struggle for freedom may need more time. But it is not impossible.”

He has a vision, and he has courage. In 1995, after he and fellow prisoners had collected information about human rights abuses in Burma’s prisons, he personally handed over the report to the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma while he was visiting the prison.

The statement titled "Human Rights Abuses in the Junta's Prisons," together with a petition from more than 100 political prisoners, was successfully distributed to the international community.

The release of both the report and petition damaged the junta’s image and drew the generals’ wrath. Zaw Myint Maung and some other colleagues were placed in a “dog cell” for about six months in retribution.

In March 1996, Zaw Myint Maung was sentenced to an additional 12 years in prison for his role in distributing the human rights report. One year later, he was transferred to Myitkyina Prison in northern Kachin State.

Deplorable prison conditions are commonplace in Burmese prisons and detention centers. Many prisoners suffer from serious mental disorders resulting from long periods of solitary confinement.

Currently, there are more than 2,100 political prisoners in Burmese prisons, including 18 elected members of parliament. There are more than 178 female political prisoners and more than 200 Buddhist monks.

Zaw Myint Maung 57th birthday will be in December. He will silently celebrate his birthday alone in his cell, just like in the previous 17 years.

Zin Linn is a former political prisoner and spokesman for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma in exile.

Monday, September 29, 2008

18 years and how many more ?

On 23rd of September, i got couples of phone calls when i was studying and asking for my father news. Actually, that day was very nice day as 8 political prisoners had been released from the different prisons together with other 9000 prisoners. Sayar Gyi U Win Tin and others has been released. It was so good for our democracy force as Sayar U Win Tin is the iron man who is very reliable and he will do as much as he can to get democracy in our country.

However, we are speechless ! as my father has not been released yet and we expected that he would release. I made several phone calls to my mother and she was also a bit upset about that. But these are not so strange for our family as my father has been in the prison for 18 years. Now there are only few MPs in the jail and my father is one of them and he is now the longest serving person in the jail as he was arrested in 1990. My father is still very strong in his belief but his health was not like that. He has to take the tablets for a couple of diseases. What i want to request is that please demend the release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Su Kyi and others including my father as my father has been in the jail for 18 years and we don't have the family life yet. Don't forget about not well-known politicians of our country.

10 Members of Parliament Who Remain in Prison No Name States/Divs Constituency Party Date of Arrest Prison
From NCGUB website

1 Zaw Myint Maung, Dr. Mandalay Amarapura-1 NLD date of arrest- 00-11-1990 Myitkyina 37 Years
2 Naing Naing Rangoon Pazundaung NLD 00-08-2000 Insein 21 Years
3 Kyaw Kyaw, Dr. Pegu Yetashe-1 NLD 18-09-2002 Taungoo 19 Years
4 Aung Soe Myint Pegu Taungoo-1 NLD 31-08-2003 Thayet 7 Years
5 Khun Tun Oo Shan Thibaw-1 SNLD 09-02-2005 Putao 93 Years
6 Kyaw Khin Shan Taunggyi-1 NLD 25-02-2005 Taunggyi 14 Years
7 Kyaw Min Arakan Butheetaung-1 NDPHR 17-03-2005 Insein 47 Years
8 Kyaw San Sagaing Tantse NLD 17-03-2005 Insein 7 Years
9 Saw Hlaing Sagaing Inndaw NLD 30-03-2005 Kathar 12 Years
10 Khin Maung Win Pegu Oaktwin-2 NLD 31-03-2006 Insein Detention

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Before 88 uprising we did have a great family live with my father, mother, my elder brother and my little sister.Like other families we used to go pagodas, playgrounds and so many places in weekends.But our family has been destroyed for nearly 18 years as my father has been arrested in 1990 for his participation in provisional goverment.At frist, we expected to release our father before my little sister got into primary school but she is now in 3rd year.We had to pass so many weekends without father and attend some special occasions like convocation ceremony just only with my mother.

When my father has been arrested, we don't know where he was.
After couples of moths, my mother heard humour that my father had been already arrested so,She went to Insein prison in Rangoon and try to meet with her. This is the hardest time of our family as my mother had to struggle with us ( At that time my elder brother is in 4th standard and my sister is just about 1 year old). She had to earn money to keep alive our family and had to go to Rangoon regularly to meet and feed my father. Whenever she went to Rangoon, she had to get her daughter to Rangoon so that my sister can get breast feeding enough. We could meet our father once a year as we had to attend the school .Only in summer holidays, we could go to our father and meet him. Before that, I had never seen a prison and at the first time, it was strange feeling. I cried. i was young. I was so scared that there were a lots of people there and we were very sad as we saw that our father had to wear the iron chains in the feet. We had to meet with our father for just 15 minutes in the very small space crowded with many other prisoners and family members though we took the train for 16 hours from Mandalay to Yangon and we couldn’t even shake his hand as there was a big iron mesh between us. Before, we used to study with my mother. My mom had to look after her patients as well as had to do all the work because my father was not there. She couldn’t look after us properly. So we had to study our own. I have affection for him as a father. My mom always working in hospital. I used to cry every day.

At that time my sister was not weaned off breast milk yet. So, when my mom was working in the clinic, my sister would come to mom and demand milk from her.She had to carry my sister on the one hand to kiss her and on the other she had to tend her patient with syringe in her hand.

For us, there are a lots of impacts on our lives. In education, some teachers who are supporters of military government were intentionally discriminated us as the sons of politicians and we did not get good marks although we did well in the exam. Moreover, the Military intelligence was constantly watching our family and they interrogated my mother for many times. Whenever the anniversary days of the oppositional group (NLD), they usually come to our family and asking questions and making unease for our family member. As we group-up without father, sometimes we feel unease for our lives leading to psychological trauma. Sometimes, we don’t have father to attend the special occasions like convocation and we crave for family life.

Furthermore, I did remember the day when we were very young that the Military intelligence came into our house and got my mother and brought my mom to interrogation centre as my mother was alleged to distribute the letter that my father had been sent to United Nations. At that time my brother and me got very angry and wanted to do something to these officials as we depended on my mother. My sister was also very sad about mom and she cried a lots. At that night, we had to comfort ourselves and we three slept together so that our little sister was not so afraid. We live under pressure anytime. This is just an iceberg of the story of a political related family in Burma. There are many untold hardships and there are many stories like ours. At the moment my father has been in Myitkyinar prison (northern part of the Burma and the transportations are very difficult to get into there). He is very ill and has gastric ulcers, piles and hypertension. Although we tried for many times, my father did not get access to medical access fully. He can eat only 7 teaspoons of ground rice for lunch and dinner.

We hope to meet with my father in open air but how many years we have to wait ? Who knows?How many weekends we have to pass without my father!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Unknown Story of the Twenty Four

The Unknown Story of the Twenty Four

Freedom of Press Movement in Insein Prison 1992-1996
By Zin Linn

Education is the most powerful guardian of a civilization. It is the sole vehicle by which priceless treasures of former generations are carried to the present. It is the mighty force that propels the knowledge of human beings into the IT age and beyond.

All leading cells of society know this very well. Therefore many far-sighted nations have decided to invest heavily in education to protect their bright futures. But some foolish regimes intentionally crack down on educational institutions. They also suppress the students and people who thirst for knowledge.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (S.L.O.R.C) or State Peace and Development Council (S.P.D.C) of Burmar is a regime of this kind. Under the regime most of the colleges and universities have been sent to the outskirts of cities. The thoughtless junta even recognizes students and people as their enemies or destructive elements.

They inherited this concept from their godfather, the notorious Gen. Ne Win, who declared war on students after the July 7 massacre in 1962. From that day on, students have been under severe suppression and, in some cases, have not been allowed to further their studies.

The junta has systematically ruined the education system, blocking every progressive book and periodical from appearing in Burma. They pay particular attention to any material published in the West. That is why a series of student uprisings have broken out from time to time in Burma. That is also why prisons in Burma are crowded with prisoners of conscience.

Under British colonial rule, prisoners were allowed to read and write while in custody. However, the Myanmar military dictators strictly prohibit this practice in their prisons. They don't even allow a scrap of packing-paper to exist within the cell confines. If a piece of paper is found in the hand of a prisoner he is made to wear iron-shackles and is put into solitary confinement for 3 months.

But we, the political prisoners of Insein Prison, were just like people who lost their way in the desert and were thirsting for water. We thirsted for knowledge, as well as outside news, in that desert-like prison. At last, we made up our minds to take the risk of quenching our thirst.

It was in the middle of December 1992. We, the political prisoners of Insein Jail, had heard that a so-called 'National Convention' was going to be held in January of the following year. Some of the prisoners of conscience welcomed the National Convention but many strongly opposed it. So we all decided to run the risk of getting more detailed information on this conference.

Everybody agreed we should persuade the wardens to accommodate our needs. In short, at the start of the National Convention ( 9th January 1993), we received the Mirror Daily Newspaper with the help of a warden. At that time, there were over 1000 political prisoners in the notorious Insein Jail and over 500 of them were prisoners of conscience.

There are six cellblocks in the cell compound of the prison. No.1 cellblock consists of 14 cells or rooms. No.2 consists of 60 cells. No.3 has 14 cells. No.4 (long) has 18 cells and 4 (short) has 12 cells. No.5 is made up of 22 cells and No. 6 has 10 cells. So, there are 150 cells altogether. Each cell measures 8.5' x 11.5'.

There is also a special cell-compound and a dog-cell compound. Each comprises 10 cells. Special cellblock is very special. Every cell is 12' x12' in area and contains a bathroom with a toilet. However, each cell has two iron-doors covered with iron-grilles.

There are also some cottages for VIPs, such as ex-generals and ministers. The special cell-compound also houses the main interrogation bureau of the Military Intelligence service (MI). There, prisoners of conscience are brutally tortured by MI personnel. Most of the political prisoners suffer inhumane treatment and persecution within this special cell-compound.

We initiated discussions so that everyone, as well as every party, could assist each other in getting organized for the future struggle. We believed that unity alone would safeguard and secure our aim for the restoration of democracy. That is why we knew that we shouldn't fail to keep up to date on outside political developments.

For this reason, members from NLD, DPNS, ABSDF, ABFSU, KNU, CPB and individual politicians exchanged opinions and agreed to cooperate for the common cause. The result appeared as a Joint-Action Committee (JAC).

Under the JAC there were 5 sub-committees:

The Committee to Protect Political Prisoners' Rights (CPPPR)
The Committee for Convening Political Ceremonies (CCPC)
The Media & Information Committee (MIC)
The Hand-written Periodicals Producing Committee (HPPC)
The Medical Assistance Committee (MAC).
The MIC cooperated with the HPPC in delivering periodicals throughout the cell-compound. The two committees smuggled journals, magazines, papers and writing materials into the prison. Eventually, the MIC also succeeded in getting two 8-band pocket size radios. The two committees then cooperated in collecting news from the radio and managed to produce a weekly news bulletin. In this way we got updates from Time & Newsweek as well as Burmese newspapers and periodicals. Then we could exchange our political outlooks through hand-written magazines, such as The Tidal Wave, The New Blood Wave and other annual issues. Moreover the MIC and HPPC took on the task of submitting a report on human rights abuses in prisons to the UN. So, they collected radio-news and recorded firsthand accounts of other prisoners, as well as from the wardens.

Every weekend, the jail authorities assigned the prisoners who were not given a sentence by a law-court to forced labor in prison. Some of them were sent to our cell-compound to do cleaning works. As the JAC had directed us, we tried to gather fresh outside news from these prisoners. Sometimes we came across NLD members. Then we persuaded the warden in charge of our cell-compound to give us an opportunity to chat with these people. In this way we often received important, up-to-date news on the political situation.

Thus, all of us were able to participate in a concerted effort to raise the democracy movement inside Burma-despite being behind the walls of Insein Prison. This was achieved, in the most part, by the MIC & HPPC and their success in overcoming the news and information blackout in the notorious Insein Jail. If we didn't overcome this blackout, most of the political prisoners might have become depressed and lost sight of their political destination. So, the journalistic activity of the MIC & HPPC was an essential service for our comrades and the democratic cause.

Each sub-committee had done well in its respective sector. We were now able to put forward our political attitude of opposing the fake National Convention and show our support for the initiation of dialogue between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta.

All of our comrades were able to thoroughly study the proceedings of the fake National Convention with the assistance of the MIC. We wrote our opinion or commentaries on plastic sheets and exchanged them with each other. At last we reached common ground. We all agreed that the National Convention was indeed a fake and 'just for show' because out of the 702 delegates only 99 were elected members of parliament. Besides, some were from ceasefire groups suspected of being involved in drug trafficking.

The worst thing was the junta itself had written the draft constitution. There were six major objectives in the draft. The sixth objective said that 25 % of the parliament's seats must be filled by military representatives, chosen by the chief of staff. That would mean the whole nation accepted the junta's coup as legitimate. So we, prisoners of conscience, made a decision to notify the NLD delegates of our belief that they should walk out on the sham that was the national convention. Eventually we composed a consensus paper requesting the NLD to refuse to take part in the farcical convention. We smuggled out the consensus paper and a petition of nearly 200 signatures. We heard later that one of the outside NLD members submitted the paper to the NLD chairman.

We could encourage each other to surmount the hardship and tortures of Insein Prison with the help of the JAC. We managed to achieve some success in defying the prison-authorities' oppression. The CPPPR took on this role of defying the authorities' unjust orders. Every prisoner of conscience will remember the committee's historic endeavors forever.

The MAC even managed to smuggle medicines and disposable syringes into the prison cells. Dr Zaw Myint Maung and Dr Myint Naing took responsibility for administering medical treatment and were successful in treating minor surgical cases.

The most important accomplishment was achieved with all 5 committees cooperating to collect data on human rights abuses in the junta's prisons. After collecting the information, a report was finally finished by the famous Hantharwaddy U Win Tin, former editor of the Hantharwaddy Newspaper. It was then sent to Mr. Yozo Yokota, the UN Special Rapporteur for Burma, on July 15, 1995.

The report was a great blow to the junta. So, with severe anger, the prison-authorities and MI commenced a vigorous investigation to uncover those who took leadership roles in smuggling out the human rights report. They eventually got the upper hand with the help of a traitor and ex-sergeant, Tin Win from Thongwa Township. The whole network then fell into the hands of the MI in November 1995.

After 6 months of investigation, using severe methods of torture, 24 out of 37 inmates were accused of taking part. A so-called 'court' summarily sentenced the 24 political prisoners to further imprisonment on 28 March 1996.

All of these 24 prisoners of conscience actively cooperated to show their democratic-spirit. They especially fought for the right of freedom of expression. The junta has taken harsh action upon all of them but it can't destroy their journalistic heart and soul. People throughout the country have heard their story and show their sympathy, recognizing their courage and determination as a marvelous defiance of the infamous junta. These men accomplished a great victory under the most inhumane military dictators.

The 24 prisoners of conscience deserve a genuine honor. The valiant 24 achieved the unthinkable for a genuine democratic cause and freedom of expression in the most notorious of Burmese prisons. Their names deserve to be inscribed in an historical record book as an example to others.

The world today is actively calling for Globalization and moving rapidly into an Information Technology Era. Yet the Burma military dictators are trying to pull the Burmese people backwards. They are still trying in vain to close the eyes and ears of the people. They are enemies of education and wisdom - and their own people. They think by using a palm-leaf they can easily protect themselves against a thunderbolt. What nonsense! Nobody can afford harnessing history to run backwards.None of these supermen can halt the IT Revolution. We are convinced that the junta will be shocked at the great power of the Internet society.

Prisoners of conscience who received additional imprisonments for their involvement in the freedom of press movement are as follows: See details.

U Win Tin
U Win Tin, 72, is a prominent journalist and a founding leader of the NLD. He is also a famous writer, editor and critic. He was arrested on July 4, 1989, during a comprehensive crackdown on the NLD and other opposition parties. He has been sentenced three times. He was originally sentenced to 3 years and since then has received additional sentences of 10 years and 7 years. His total imprisonment will be 20 years with hard labour.

Born on March 12, 1930, U Win Tin received a in English Literature, Modern History and Political Science from the University of Rangoon. In 1953 he became assistant editor of the Burma Translation Society. From 1954 to 1957 he was a consultant editor of Djambartan Publishing Co.(Netherlands). He then became the executive editor of the Mirror Daily in Rangoon and held this position from 1957 to 1969. In 1969 he took on the role of chief editor at the Hantharwaddy Daily in Mandalay until 1978. In 1988 uprising he was vice chairman of the Writers' Association.

U Win Tin was the leading activist in the cell-compound news & information movement. While in prison he has suffered from heart attacks, spondylitis, hernia and also sight and dental problems. Although the junta has tried to change his ideology he stands firmly on the side of democracy. He received UNESCO's Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award in 2001.

Dr Zaw Myint Maung
Dr Zaw Myint Maung, 48, won a seat in Parliament in the 1990 Election for the NLD. He is the MP for Amarapura Township in Mandalay division. He was arrested for participating in the forming of a provisional government and was sentenced to serve 25 years imprisonment in November 1990.

Dr Zaw Myint Maung was a leading activist in the prison movement and was a brave and active member of Insein Prison's CPPPR as well as the MIC. He is a qualified writer and poet. He is also a very reliable physician and was a member of the MAC in our cell-compound. His work in both fields resulted in two separate sentences: 7 years for code 5(J) and 5 years for panel code 6. His total additional sentence was 12 years. He is now in the Myitkyina Prison.

Dr Myint Naing
Dr Myint Naing, 49, is an elected member of parliament from the 1990 election. His constituency is the Kantbalu Township, which lies in the Sagaing division. He was arrested in November 1990 together with Dr Zaw Myint Maung for forming a provisional government and also received 25 years imprisonment.

Dr Myint Naing contributed his political memoirs in the Tidal Wave magazine, which was published in the cell-compound. He was also a committee member of the CPPPR as well as the MAC. He took responsibility for being a staff editor of the Tidal Wave and was sentenced to an additional 5 years for panel code 6. He is now in Thayet prison, middle Burma.

Kyaw Min Yu
Kyaw Min Yu, (aka) Jimmy, is a member of the DPNS Central Executive Committee and was arrested in 1989. At that time he was only 19 years old. He received 20 years imprisonment.

Kyaw Min Yu was the most active member of the MIC and was responsible for smuggling the 8-band radios into the cells. He wrote many articles about the 1988 students strike, which appeared in the periodicals published in Insein. He was sentenced to 7 years for code 5(J) and 5 years for code 6, totaling 12 years. He is now serving his 32 year sentence in the Tharawaddy Prison.

Myat Tun
Myat Tun, 36, is an NLD Executive Committee member of Kamaryut Township in Rangoon division. He was a 3rd year university student, majoring in Burmese, when charged in connection with the Democratic Alliance of Burma and sentenced to 8 years.

He was responsible for listening to the radio, with earphones, at night. He shared this task with Jimmy and they both took notes. They sent the notes to Myo Myint Nyein who was in room 17 of 4 (long) cellblock.

Myat Tun wrote poems and literary reviews in the Yangon University Annual Magazine. He also wrote satirical short-plays in the Tidal Wave and other issues, which were produced in Insein, and received 7 years imprisonment for this work. He is now in Myingyan Prison.

Thet Min Aung
Thet Min Aung, 35, was arrested in early 1991 for possessing arms and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He is a member of the ABSDF.

Thet Min Aung was an MIC executive member and successfully managed to smuggle papers and writing materials into prison. His duty was to deliver the news bulletins and hand-written magazines to the inmates in cellblock 3. He actively participated in the news and information movement in prison. Moreover, he was chosen as the ABSDF's representative in the CPPPR. Due to his participation in this committee, he was charged with panel code 6 and sentenced to an additional 5 years imprisonment. He is now in Bassein Prison and serving in restricted confinement as he refused to talk about his involvement when the ICRC met him exclusively.

Ko Ko Oo(aka) Bo Bo
Ko Ko Oo is an ABSDF member who was arrested in 1991 for possessing arms and received 10 years imprisonment. He was a member of the HPPC in cellblock 3 and was one of the editorial staff for JAC's magazines. For this he received an additional 7 years imprisonment. He is currently held in Myingyan Prison.

Ba Myo Thein
Ba Myo Thein, 44, is a member of the Democratic United Front and a strong supporter of U Nu, a former prime minister. He was responsible for collecting articles from other cell-compounds and was also the chief editor of the U Nu Memorial magazine. He smuggled the magazine out and sent it to U Nu's daughter, Daw San San Nu. He received a further 7 years and 5 years, altogether 12 years. He is serving this sentence in Tharawaddy Prison.

Soe Myint
Soe Myint, 52, is a qualified veterinarian. In 1975 he was senten- ced to 7 years imprisonment for participating in the students strike. Released in 1980, due to a general amnesty, he was rearrested in 1982, accused of having connections with under-ground movements. He received an 8 year sentence but was released in 1987. In 1991 he was arrested again and sentenced to 10 years for involvement in underground movements.

Soe Myint is a musician and composer as well as being a good short-story writer. He wrote some poems in annual magazines during his student-days.

He contributed songs together with international notes in the Tidal Wave magazine. He also wrote short stories in the hand- written magazines that were circulated in Insein. He received an additional 5 years and 7 years, totaling 12 years. He is now held in Tharawaddy Prison and is suffering from arthritis.

Htay Win Aung (aka) Pyone Cho
Htay Win Aung was a Geology major student. He was a well-known leader of Rangoon Division Students' Union and was subsequently sentenced to 7 years in prison.

He is a good artist and is gifted at embroidery. He illustrated many of the hand-written magazines. His paintings were very attractive and for these decorations he was sentenced to a further 7 years imprisonment.

He is now in Tharawaddy Prison. His younger brother, Thet Win Aung, is also in Kale Prison serving 60years for his involvement in student's strikes in1998.

Yin Htway
Yin Htway, 36, is a Central Executive Committee member of the DPNS and was arrested in early 1990, accused of defiance against SLORC. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. At the time, he was a 3rd year History student.

Yin Htway was one of the editorial staff of the New Blood Wave magazine, which was brought out in commemoration of Phone Maw, the first fallen student in the 1988 uprising. He also wrote political dialogues in the hand-written issues. He received a further 7 years imprisonment for his work on the New Blood Wave. He is now in Tharawaddy Prison.

Hla Than
Hla Than, 33, is a member of ABSDF. He lived in Tharkeyta Township and was a college student. He was arrested in 1990 for possessing arms and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

As a member of the MIC of the 4 (short) cellblock, Hla Than wrote his memoirs in the hand- written magazines. The court handed down an additional 7 years imprisonment for this work. He is now detained at Tharawaddy Prison.

Aung Myo Tint
Aung Myo Tint, 33, was a student activist arrested for possessing arms and received 20 years imprisonment.

He was an editorial staff member of the New Blood Wave and wrote poems in prison periodicals. He was sentenced to a further 7 years for his activities. He is now in Myaungmya Prison.

Sein Hlaing
Sein Hlaing, 47, was a leading member of the Tri-color group. This group was responsible for the security of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988. He cooperated with Myo Myint Nyein in delivering an anti-government satirical pamphlet called "What is Occuring?''. He was sentenced to 7 years for his involvement.

Sein Hlaing wrote articles in the prison-magazines and took the duty of distributing the periodicals among political prisoners. After participating in this movement he was sentenced to another 7 years imprisonment. He is now in Tharawaddy Prison.

Win Thein
Win Thein was an active and leading member in the Tri-color group. He was also a member of NLD youth. He was arrested for alleged defiance against the junta's unjust law and received a 10-year sentence. Win Thein was one of the editorial staff that produced the New Blood Wave magazine.

He was responsible for keeping and lending Time, Newsweek and Readers' digest as well as other books. He was sentenced to an additional 7 years imprisonment. He is now in Tharawaddy Prison.

Tun Win
Tun Win, 48, was an Arakanese insurgent who participated in the taking of Minbya in 1986. He managed to get a pocket radio and delivered news and information through 4(short) cellblock. He received 7 years in addition to his life sentence.

He is now detained in Tharawaddy Prison. None of his relatives can afford to visit him and he is suffering from gout.

Phyo Min Thein
Phyo Min Thein is a leading member of ABFSU, in Lower Burma. He was arrested in the 1991 December movement and received 10 years imprisonment.

He was responsible for bringing out the Diamond Jubilee National Day Annual Magazine. This annual magazine was very grand with an embroidered cover of a dancing peacock. There were over 100 articles with colorful illustrations. For this work he was seriously tortured and sentenced to a further 7 years imprisonment.

Zaw Min
Zaw Min, 32, was a 4th year Geography major student and a member of ABFSU when he was arrested, accused of having connections with the ABSDF Underground Unit. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

He cooperated with Phyo Min Thein in bringing out the Diamond Jubilee Magazine. He also worked with Myo Myint Nyein to produce a weekly news bulletin. He wrote poems and drew sketches of the 1988 events. He received a further 7 years imprisonment. He is now at Thayet Prison.

Soe Htet Khine
Soe Htet Khine, 30, is a member of ABSDF and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He was an active youth in the 4(long) cell-block and his duty was to deliver news-bulletins and other periodicals. He wrote poems in the handwritten issues. He was also part of the assistance staff on the Diamond Jubilee National Day Annual Magazine (1995). For this reason, he received another 7 years imprisonment. He is now serving in Thara- waddy Prison.

Aung Kyaw Oo
Aung Kyaw Oo,30, was a 1st year History student in Workers' College and a member of ABSFU. Charged in connection with the 208th Battalion of ABSDF, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by No.2 military court in Insein Jail.

He wrote memoirs of the students strike in 1988.He also composed some poems in the Diamond Magazine.One of his poems was titled '' Together With Infinite Strength". He was a member of the news-bulletins producing team.For this, he received an additional 7 years imprisonment. He is now in Tharawaddy Prison.

Zaw Tun
Zaw Tun, 37, was a 3rd year Economics student and a leading member of the Workers' College Students' Union. Due to his connections with ABSDF he received 7 years imprisonment.

Zaw Tun wrote articles on political economy, which was published in the Insein prison issues. He was also one of the prisoners responsible for producing the Diamond Jubilee magazine. He was sentenced to a further 7 years. He now serves in Tharawa- ddy Prison.

Nyunt Zaw
Nyunt Zaw was 24 when he was arrested in 1991, accused of being an ABSDF underground member. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

He helped to produce the news bulletins and gave them a neat and tidy appearance. He did this under the watchful eye of the jail authorities, at night times, and was industrious and vigilant. He was sentenced to an additional 7 years and transferred to Tharawaddy Prison in September 1996. There he was placed in solitary confinement and he suffered from heart disease. In mid-1999 his health condition deteriorated and he asked the jail authorities for health care. But MI did not give permission and Nyunt Zaw had a heart attack in his cell. He passed away while alone in his cell - nobody noticed. The jail authorities did not even send his death message to his family.

Kyi Pe Kyaw
Kyi Pe Kyaw, 36, is a member of ABSDF and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1990. He and Myo Myint Nyein were the two most responsible for bringing out the weekly news-bulletin for the whole cell-compound. Both of them were in room 17 of 4 (long) cellblock and their cell was the news information headquarters. They made a secret underground hole where they stored everything for the bulletins and other periodicals. Kyi Pe Kyaw was sentenced to another 7 years for his work in Insein Prison. He was sent to Myitkyina Prison in Kachin State in 1996 where his family cannot visit him because of the long journey. He remains in Myitkyina Prison.

Myo Myint Nyein
Myo Myint Nyein, 50, was an editor when he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment due to his publication ''What is Occurring?", a satirical poem-booklet.

Myo Myint Nyein successfully sent a prisoner's shirt, signed by prisoners of conscience, to the UNHRC annual meeting in1993. He also took responsibility for the editing of the Diamond Jubilee National Day magazine (1995). Moreover he and Kyi Pe Kyaw managed to deliver the weekly news-bulletin regularly. He smuggled the report on the Human Rights Abuses in Prisons to the UN Special Rapporteur Mr Yozo Yokota. He was sentenced to additional 7 years for his activities. Then he was sent to Tharawaddy Prison in 1997.

He remains in Tharawaddy Prison and now suffers from gastritis, migraines, neurotic behaviour and hypertension.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Letter from former Korean ambassador to Dr. Zaw Myint Maung(from ARDA website)

Letter from former Korean ambassador to Dr. Zaw Myint Maung
Dr. Zaw Myint Maung
Rangoon Burma

February 01, 2005

My dear Dr. Zaw Myint Maung:

I am saddened beyond words that you are still being incarcerated illegally by the Burmese military junta for no crime other than the advocacy of democracy.

The world is keenly aware of the tragic and sad situation in Burma. There is an encouraging sign that something may be done in concrete terms by the nations that believe in democracy led by the United States. At the recent Senate Hearing for her appointment, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the new Secretary of State of the United States listed Burma as one of the six “ outposts of tyranny” in the world ( the other five are: North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Byelorussia and Zimbabwe). She also declared that the spreading of freedom and democracy throughout the world is the foreign policy objective of the Bush administration in his second term. Let us see what happens.

The important thing is that we have not forgotten you and we pledge to you that we shall continue to press for your freedom in the arena of the world, including the General Assembly of the United Nations by mobilizing the moral force of all freedom-loving states of the world.

Last, please permit me to introduce myself briefly. I am a former career diplomat of South Korea, having served as Korean Ambassador to India, Egypt, Morocco, Jamaica and the Caribbean. I was educated in Untied States: M.A. '56 ( Georgetown) as well as LL.M., '57 and S.J.D. '61 ( Harvard Law School). I am now teaching as Professor of International Law at Yonsei University in Seoul, the oldest private University in Korea founded by American Missionary in 1985.

With my fullest support and deepest respect, I am.

Sincerely Yours,

Ambassador Woonsang Choi ( Rtd)
Doctor of Juridical Science ( Harvard)
Professor Of International Law

Original post link -

Imprisoned MP Desperately Needs Treatment

Imprisoned MP Desperately Needs Treatment
28 January 2008
Original news by Htet Yaza, DVB
Translation by Nay Chi U

Dr Zaw Myint Maung, Member of Parliament, Amarapura, Mandalay, who is serving long-term imprisonment, urgently needs an operation but authorities are still refusing permission, it is reported.

A detainee in Myit Kyeenar prison, the MP is suffering badly from haemorrhoids and stomach problems said Dr Yu Yu May, his wife.

"His stomach problems started two years ago. He is having stomach pains all the time so was examined by a specialist. About 6 months ago, a surgeon said the haemorrhoids need operation but until now it has not been arranged."

"Being a medical man himself, he just suffers more because he knows all the consequences if his problems are not treated soon."

U Bo Kyi, joint secretary of AAPP (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners) condemned the junta for depriving the the prisoners of sufficient medical treatments on purpose, which has caused unnecessary deaths previously.

"Someone like Dr Zaw Myint Maung, who has been imprisoned for nearly 20 years, can easily die if he is not getting essential medical treatments or enough nutritious food. His condition is very worrying".

"His career has been wasted in prison, not only as a doctor but also as an elected politician. Our country desperately needs people like him working and serving, instead the junta has stolen this good man from the people".

Dr Zaw Myint Maung was arrested in November 1990 and sentenced to 25 years for treason. In 1997, he was very strangely accused of committing crimes while serving in prison and 12 more years were added to his long-term imprisonment.

Posted by Goldie Shwe at 03:46 0 comments

Labels: Mandalay, Myit Kyeenar Prison

Brief Biography of Dr.Zaw Myint Maung

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung(age 56), elected representative of Mandalay Division – Amarapura Constituency, has been serving a lengthy jail term at Myinkyina Prison, is said to be quite ill. Zaw Myint Maung has been suffering from severe indigestion and unable to eat properly, according to his wife Dr. Yu Yu May. He has been in junta’s jail since November 1990. He was imprisoned for his alleged participation in discussions about the formation of a parallel government in Mandalay, in November 1990 and was sentenced to 25 years under Penal Code Article 122 (1) at a military tribunal with no legal representation. He is believed to have been deprived of food and sleep during interrogation. He was one of a total of 24 prisoners were given further prison sentences on 28 March1996 in connection with their circulation of news within the prison, their preparation of a magazine, and their attempts to report on human rights violations in the prison. He was alleged to have written two poems and to have signed a petition for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. While authorities investigated, he and others were held in cells designed for military dogs, made to sleep on concrete floor without bedding during winter months, and deprived of food and water. He was held in a dog cell between November 1995 and May 1996. The group of 24 was also reportedly denied legal representation at their trial. He was then sentenced to additional 12 years imprisonment. He is being held at Myit-kyi-na prison in Kachin State in remote northern Burma. He received 21,119 valid votes as 66.35 % in the 1990 elections.

Dr Zaw Myint Maung's Case File(AAPP)

Read this document on Scribd: Zaw Myint Mg Dr (AAPP) by Z-1-1

Still Waiting For Zaw

This story is written by Ma Thida(Sanchaung) and based on the true story of Dr.Zaw Myint Maung,elected MP from Amarapura who is still in the MYITKYINAR PRISON.

Every day everyone's waiting for “one day”.



Yu was waiting for “one day”.

It had been nearly a decade. Since Zaw left home in 1990 Yu had been waiting. She was waiting to be with him again - at least to meet him without an iron mesh or bar and concrete block between. She believed one day she would meet him concretely in the open air, not untouchably at the murky, muggy, interview room in Insein prison.

Zaw had been sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in 1990, and another 12 years' imprisonment in 1996 for his steadfast commitment in democracy. Yu agreed that what Zaw had done for his people was right. She never missed an opportunity to meet him fortnightly at Insein prison. Only fifteen minutes every two week was nowhere near enough for them to talk through all the issues - their three children, their parents, the financial and social affairs of their own family and friends. So Yu always felt dissatisfied after meeting him. She was forever waiting for one day when she could meet and talk him for never-ending hours and hours.

Yu realized Zaw wouldn't be released early before finishing his full prison term. So she only hoped she could meet him one time without any hurdles in between: no warden, no iron bars, no concrete blocks. She wanted to grip Zaw's warm and welcoming hands, grasp Zaw's broad and trusty shoulders, and to glimpse every bit of Zaw's puny, and increasingly flabby body to spot the traces of torture. That was her ever-lasting and never-fulfilling wish.

Yu was waiting for that one day when she could be in touch with Zaw.


Zaw too was waiting for “one day”.

It seemed like more than a hundred years ago, since he'd been detained in Mandalay and sent to the infamous Insein prison after a month at interrogation center. A hundred years spent waiting to meet Yu. Twenty four hours normally lasts for twenty four hours, but for him, twenty-four equated ninety six. One earsplitting strike of the main jail gong every fifteen minutes, throughout twenty-four hours, expanded the length of his dreadful day.

In solitary confinement Zaw imagined himself in Yu's womb. The womb was lit with a forty-watt bulb and with the warmth of things Yu had sent - two blankets, two towels, food and clothes. Starlight fell over every city, every country and all people. But a brick wall blocked his only window, which was reinforced by a double layer of wood stakes and iron bars. Barbed wire garlanded the wall like a giant’s crown. Zaw had two pots - one for drinking water and one for washing water - and two bowls, a small one to use as a plate at mealtimes and as a cup at bath-time and a big one to use as a toilet.

Zaw wanted to grip Yu's gentle yet supporting hands, to grasp her slim and loyal arms, and to glimpse her frail and increasingly flabby body, to examine her for signs of sickness. Zaw already knew Yu's spiritual health was above average. But he wondered about her lonely struggle for their family. Zaw wanted to show his adoration to Yu concretely. That was his ever-enduring and never-fulfilling wish.

Zaw was waiting for one day when he could be in touch with Yu.


One day in late 1997 there was an announcement about the changes of the title and of some of the members of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, or SLORC. Regime change brought the State Peace and Development Council, or SPDC, and a reshuffle of almost all but the powerful three men. This provoked a lot of wishful thinking. Perhaps a general amnesty for all political prisoners, or a general reduction of prison terms for both criminals and political prisoners.

Together Yu and Zaw separately thought the long awaited “one day” might be coming soon.


One day soon after the SPDC took power, Yu heard that instead of a general amnesty, the political prisoners would be transferred from Insein to other distant prisons. Yu was ever the optimist. Zaw might be transferred to Mandalay prison and she would no longer have travel nearly 400 miles every two weeks to meet him. She waited to hear about his transfer information from the network of families of political prisoners.

Zaw had also heard about the potential transfer of political prisoners to prisons in Upper Burma. He wished he could be transferred to Mandalay prison. He tried to send a message about the transfer to Yu, and waited to hear whether he would be transferred closer to Yu.


“Zaw and other political prisoners will arrive at Mandalay station tomorrow morning on their way to the far north of Burma." The smuggled information reached Yu late one evening. “Be positive" she reassured herself. Though she would have to travel to meet Zaw in another prison, she could still dream of the chance to meet Zaw concretely in the open air. She was sure Zaw would look for her at the station the next morning. She was still hoping that “one day” might have come.

Yu couldn't wait for next morning to arrive. That night was the longest night in her entire life. She didn't sleep a wink, but her sheets were wrinkled. She left the light on so she would see the clock easily. She was waiting for tomorrow.


“Yu might be waiting for me at Mandalay station tomorrow if she got the news.” Zaw definitely knew what Yu would do. Though he wasn't sure about his potential destination, he knew the train would stop at Mandalay station for a while and they might be transferred to another coach to continue the journey. So he could meet Yu at the station. Zaw was still hoping for his “one day” dream.

The night, packed together with 75 people on the rickety wooden floor of a decrepit coach, was like nothing he had experienced before in his entire life. The train drifted exhaustedly forward into deep darkness of the night. The coach was also dark and no one could see either the surroundings or each other. Zaw's plump thigh was flat under his friend's heavy chest, and a student's skinny ankle was just under Zaw's unbending head. The smell of urine made all of them shut their mouth. Zaw was waiting for dawn. He was waiting for tomorrow.


Yu choose Platform 3 to wait on since a local train never entered the two main platforms. She had brought a packet of biscuits, fruits and bottles of juice. She tried to relax on the bench, but with a beating heart.

“Zaw! I'll be forever with you wherever you are. People all over the world will also be with you all, all the political activists who've made their sacrifices. Don't worry about me and our family. I will take care of them well. Just try to stay healthy. Be strong.” A stream of words and phrases blocked her throat. She did not talk to her other friends or family members of other political prisoners. An Express train arrived at Platform 1 and waves of commuters flooded the whole station within minutes. Yu sighed and gazed beyond the scene. That is not Zaw's train, she was sure.

Yu was still waiting.


Soon after sunrise Zaw chose the left side of the coach to see Platform 3 where Yu would wait for him, as they knew the station was arranged. Zaw was thirsty because they used all three water pots in the coach, both for drinking and for washing. He hoped Yu had brought some food and drink, although he wouldn't mind if she had brought nothing, providing he could meet her.

“Yu! I'll be always with you wherever I am. We all also proudly recognize the other kind of sacrifice you and the rest of the families have already made. Don't worry about me. I am still going strong. Just take care of yourself and our children. Be strong.” Zaw practiced his words in a whisper. He sat silent between the others, gazing out at golden sunshine and green fields which he hadn't seen for nearly a decade. He listened attentively to the entry siren of the train.

Zaw was still waiting.


The long-awaited train had just arrived. Yu forgot all her companions and the family members of other political prisoners. Her eyes scanned the hundred windows of the 12 to13 coaches - ordinary class and upper class. She passed over white, yellow, black, familiar, strange, smiling, ignoring, anxious and other expressive faces. Where was Zaw? Her eyes welled up with tears.

There was a coach like a mail carriage. Iron mesh and bars covered the only two windows. These windows were also occupied by a bunch of different heads. There was not enough light inside the coach for someone outside looking in to see clearly. Where was Zaw? Yu blinked to clear tears to clearly see her Zaw.

Her throat was filled with her pounding heart. Her call echoed in her chest. Yu wished Zaw could see and call her since she couldn't produce a sound from her mouth. She was still missing Zaw. And she was still waiting for a call from Zaw.


The train had just arrived at Platform 3. Zaw and his friends were suddenly confronted by crowds of their family members. Their unadapted eyes couldn't spot even the most familiar faces in the open air. Their noses were pressed flat against the iron mesh and their heads were crushed against each other at the two windows on the platform side. Zaw's head was stick among the others. He squinted to see more clearly. But waving hands and shaking heads stopped him from identifying whose faces and hands were whose. Where was Yu?

Zaw eventually found Yu standing still to his far right. She was seemed to be unable to bear this scene and briefly loosing consciousness. Zaw thought he should give her some time for regain her balance. Zaw could still wait for a few seconds.


Yu came round again. She her hands over her eyes and looked for Zaw's face.

There he was. His broad shoulders - now hunched up to get more space at the window. His ever-smiling face though it was stained with a mysterious mood.

Yu smiled sweetly at him when she knew he was staring at her. “Zaw! I'm here.” But that was only a soundless echo in her chest.

“Keep out of here! Just stay still on the platform! If not, we'll drag out. They will come down on to the track and go to another coach over there. Don't get closer than you already are!”

The familiar noise from an experienced warden cut across their echoes. Yu was held back by her friends nearby. The warder's hand slapped the air in front of Yu.

Yu realized she would have to wait again.


Zaw's hands were trapped under other's waists. “Please . . .” He tried to raise his hands. He couldn't.

He tried to smile brilliantly behind the iron mesh. He felt pain, but did not know how, or why, perhaps because they were all trying to stand in front of the window. “Yu! I'm here.” But his call disappeared under the other sparkling shrill voices.

“Get out of here! Just stand one behind another. And then you queue on the track in front of the coach over there. Don't say anything!”

The familiar commands of an experienced warden cut across their echoes. All of them tried to line up one after the other. The grating sound of the iron shackles connected to their waists sounded like a horn to get them to keep silent.

Zaw prepared again to wait for more minutes.


Frail living toys in filthy white prison uniforms crept one after another on to the track in the open air. Zaw was indistinguishable among them. Each carried a bulky bag on his back, a bed roll in one hand, a food carrier in the other and a pair of iron chains on both feet. They all tried to wave, show thumbs up, say something. But they were carrying too much staff and the guarding wardens herded them, warned them off. That was how Zaw looked in the open air.

Yu was suddenly struck paralyzed, blind, deaf and dumb.

Zaw was gradually worn-out, bandy-legged, bent-headed, and hump-backed.

“Where are they sending you?”

A bright and conscious voice woke up the whole platform. Other questions echoed. Everyone became anxious to get this information. Zaw and friends didn't even know where they were going, they were walking senselessly, pausing for a while until the warders warned them with a blast of whistle.

“Myitkyina” a warden answered curtly.

Myitkyina is the capital of Kachin state, 250 miles from Mandalay. The road from Mandalay is terrible and the railway is also unreliable, sometimes taking 72 hours by train. Planes only fly twice a week and cost the skies for ordinary people.

Yu measured the distance between her and Zaw. It might be about 30 feet. A little closer. If they would let her, she could help Zaw by carrying his bag and carrier, she could grasp Zaw's hands, and hug him - no matter what the others thought. But . . . . . for now, Yu just gripped firmly the plastic bag of food and drink for Zaw.

Zaw was still confused as to whether he should stand back from the line, drop every thing on the track, and open both his arms to greet Yu who would definitely run to his chest in seconds, no matter what the wardens would do to him later for that.

“Hey…look. That's a lot of prisoners. Perhaps drug addicts or murderers. Let's keep away from this platform.”

A thoughtless remark pierced Yu's eardrums. “No, my husband is a medical doctor and a member of parliament. They all are political prisoners and they sacrificed their freedom and dignity for the benefit of all Myanmar citizens, including you,” she said in her head and heart. But she couldn't say those words out loud. Yu was almost paralyzed, blind and dumb.

Zaw suddenly stopped. He had switched his hands to carry things more easily. He concentrated on both Yu and the carrying. Zaw thought Yu seemed perplexed to see these embarrassing scenes.

Yu eventually realized what she should do.

“Here! I would like to give this - food and drink - for my husband Zaw.”

“Oh, wait a minute. Yes, Ok, I'll give your parcel to him.”

He quickly took the parcel from Yu and asked “Who's your husband?”

“Over there with the yellow bag on his back. Look, he just stopped and looked at us now. Do you see him?”

“Uh, oh yes, I see.”

“Please tell him I miss him and to take care . . . .” Before Yu finished her sentence the warden left.

Zaw thought Yu had asked the guard for something and was pointing to him. So he stopped for a while, pretending to fix the iron foot chain to move easier.

“Here you are. That's from your wife. She misses you she said.”

“Please tell her about our destination is Myitkyina.”

“She already knows.”

The warden left to arrange the seating plan on their new coach. Zaw noticed they were close to the new coach. He might lose his last chance to see Yu concretely in the open air. He wanted to do something for Yu. He dropped everything he was carrying on to the track and started to wave both hands simultaneously. The rest of his friends followed his example. “Silence! Shut up! Just keep walking, pick your things back up.” But they didn't care, or even hear.

Yu determined to wave both her hands too. Was this all she could do? She was now meeting him in theopen air. She had hoped she might do something for Zaw apart from giving him food and drink.

In the mean time Zaw picked his things up again and offered a goodbye smile with strong self-confident eyes to Yu. Then he crawled up into another coach like into a lair. Yu's eyes full of longing were glued to his back. She looked for a guard nearby.

“Please help me. And tell him I will come and see him at Myitkyina prison soon.”

“You won't be allowed to meet him at Myitkyina prison until the end of this month, I think. But don't worry. He has enough food and other things. As you can see, their bags are bulky.”

“Until end of this month?” Yu repeated, doubting.

“Yes. Why not? It's usual for transferred prisoners to be kept without any interview with anyone for at least two weeks. You must wait a while,” the warder just explained, normally.

Of course, it had become normal to hear that word, “waiting” since Zaw was arrested.



Yu is still waiting in Mandalay.

Zaw is still waiting in Myitkyina.

Every day everyone is still waiting in prison, and at home.

Link of original post by Dr.Ma Thida(Sanchaung) -

Treatment Denied To Detained Opposition MP

Treatment Denied To Detained Opposition MP

Monday, 03 March 2008 00:00
Chiang Mai – One of Burma's prominent Members of Parliament Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who is serving a long imprisonment at Myitkyina prison, is being denied medical treatment despite his deteriorating health condition, family sources said.

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, an elected MP of the 1990 election from Amarapura Township of Mandalay Division, has reportedly suffered from peptic ulcer and piles. However, the sources close to his family said prison authorities have denied medical treatment.

Reportedly, the prison doctor recommended surgical treatment for Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who has been suffering from peptic ulcer over the last two years and piles since six years ago, but authorities remain careless of his health.

Bo Kyi, Joint Secretary of Thailand based 'Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners - Burma' (AAPPB), said Dr. Zaw Myint Maung's health condition seriously needs a timely surgery.

"He needs surgical treatment. Both the prison doctor and prison authorities have recommended surgical treatment last month. But he has not yet received any. His health condition is deteriorating fast. He can eat only 9 tablespoons during each meal due to his peptic ulcer. He gets serious abdominal pain if he takes more food," he said.

Despite family members' appeal for Dr. Zaw Myint Maung's treatment, the Burmese junta's Northern Military Command Commander Maj. Gen. Ohn Myint reportedly denied permission for treatment, Bo Kyi added.

"It is the obligation of the authorities to give appropriate treatment to all prisoners. They are persecuting the prisoners by not providing medical care especially political prisoners because of hatred and prejudice against them. This should not be done. It is cruel and inhuman treatment towards prisoners," Bo Kyi said.

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung was arrested in November 1990 in connection with a conspiracy to establish a parallel government and charged with high treason and sentenced to 25 years of prison term in April 1991. Later, he was further sentenced to 12 years in prison for illegally submitting a report on human rights violation in prison to the UNHCR High Commissioner.

Currently, he is serving a total prison term of 37 years.

Similarly, family members of Nay Win after paying a visit to the prison on February 27, said he was suffering from hypertension these days and is being denied medical care.

Nay Win, Pe Sein and Kyaw Maung are members of 'National League for Democracy' (NLD) and they were arrested in the recent Saffron Revolution and charged with committing an offence against the State or against public tranquility under section 505(b) of the Criminal Code and sentenced to two years' prison in Myitkyina prison.

"His blood pressure reached 160/100 mm Hg. We are very concerned about his health condition after we saw him during a prison visit," a family member of U Nay Win said.