FFSS Founder Defies Court Summons
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Burma

FFSS Founder Defies Court Summons


By THE IRRAWADDY Friday, October 30, 2009


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The founder of the Rangoon-based Free Funeral Services Society (FFSS) has defied an order to appear before a court to answer a charge that the FFSS is continuing to operate its clinic despite an official order to close.

Kyaw Thu, who founded the FFSS in 2001, was ordered by Rangoon’s North Dagon Township City Development Committee (Municipal) to appear on Thursday before a court in South Dagon Township.

Kyaw Thu, well-known actor and founder of Myanmar Funeral Service Society, with his hearse. (Photo: FFSS)

Kyaw Thu told The Irrawaddy on Friday that he had deliberately failed to appear.

“If they put me in prison, I’ll just go,” he said. 

The FFSS’s free clinic reopened in July after being ordered in February to relocate from Thingangyun Township to North Dagon Township on the outskirts of Rangoon. It treats 200 patients daily.

“The authorities told us not to open the clinic without full permission,” said Kyaw Thu. “But, if we stop our work, all our patients are going to suffer. We can’t stop our work.”

Kyaw Thu said that North Dagon Township City Development Committee (Municipal) had delayed permission for the clinic to open because it wanted the FFSS to dig a drainage canal in front of the premises.

The FFSS clinic opened in 2007 and offers free treatment, including maternity and post-natal care and pediatrics.

The FFSS is a nongovernmental, nonpolitical organization that relies on donations from inside and outside Burma. Most donations come from Burmese living in Japan, Taiwan, England and the United States.

The popularity and influence enjoyed by the FFSS is giving the regime cause for concern, according to Rangoon sources.

In September 2007, Kyaw Thu and his wife were arrested for publicly supporting the protesting monks. Media coverage of the FFSS was banned by the military government.

The junta has increasingly targeted Burma-based civil society organizations following the 2007 demonstrations.

Seven members of Rangoon civil society organizations helping relief efforts in cyclone-devastated areas of the Irrawaddy delta were recently arrested, according to Rangoon sources.

COMMENTS (7)
 
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George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
01/11/2009
“If they put me in prison, I’ll just go,” thus Kyaw Thu has said.
This guy has guts, no doubt.
Daring to do and saying the right thing is what makes men out of the lot.
Kyaw Thu has joined the ranks of Daw Suu, Min Ko Naing and their ilk now.
Specifically he is doing what no other person would/could do under normal circumstances.
Taking care of and seeing the unfortunates to their graves at large is as noble as any you can dream of and in line with both God and man's will.
Only thugs and devils stand in the way of good and noble men doing this kind of selfless and thankless job.
Finding fault with Kyaw Thu and his ilk certainly sheds true light and color on skunks in favor of and employed by Than Shwe and his mob.

Sending Kyaw Thu to prison for helping the poor and burying the penniless is no more than a lowly show of basic animal instinct on the part of Than Shwe's.
After killing the monks this act just sealed and ensured the monk murderer's trip to hell and beyond.

Yangontha Wrote:
31/10/2009
Than Shwe's government does not like to see or does not know that some good Burmese citizens have kind hearts toward others, for the military have no kind heart to understand them at all.

Thanks to Kyaw Thu and his team for their incredible jobs. Hope they can continue!

Zam Mang Wrote:
31/10/2009
The Burmese authorities are doing nothing but causing problems. Kyaw Thu has been helping the citizens who badly need assistance while the authorities suck our blood. The authorities do not care when many citizens are dying or are going to bed without a meal. This is what they do best. Shame! Shame! Shame!

LuuSoeLay Wrote:
31/10/2009
This is a profound civil service that the regime has never been involved in but always chants "Soldiers have a duty to serve for civic."

Does Ko Kyaw Thu have a discrimination-policy for the junta?

Does Ko Kyaw Thu always deny any advanced booking from junta?

Does Ko Kyaw Thu ever ignore the request of the SPDC?

The Irrawaddy must carefully examine each case and report a root cause before blaming entirely the regime. Of course, in this particular article, the regime is super innocent. Its family members shall deserve a decent funeral service with human dignity.

If the regime wants a funeral service for advanced or known date or maybe FFSS unfairly treats them, sorry I don't know where to complain, but then let the Burmese people know. Sure enough they all are willing to provide a service and will chant "Doet Ah Yay!....Doet Ah Yay!

timothy Wrote:
31/10/2009
The mindset of this junta is difficult to understand but it shows how sick and pathetic they are and how much damage it is inflicting to the mother nation of Burma.

thu ri ya burma Wrote:
31/10/2009
FFSS is a good deed. Bad people object to good deeds. They will get what they did due to action and reaction or cause and effect.

pLan B Wrote:
30/10/2009
In Yangon alone there are many long established organizations that administer to the need of anyone. Clinics, orphanages. Some of these organization have also affiliates that serve the rural population's needs.
These organizations are mostly religious but absolutely apolitical.
One main common complaint has been to obtain "permits" to do their work to lessen the sufferings of the most vulnerable.
Usually that is due to the lower level official wanting LPYB who hold up the process.

The waiting period can be arduous, long and expensive. Yet some of these organizations enjoy the material as well as moral support of the SPDC.

Their biggest limitation is funding.

The Irrawaddy has the responsibility to highlight those more important needs than ongoing continual persecution.
This article will serve only to discourage others from making needed contributions.

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