The Last Night in the Cell
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The Last Night in the Cell


By KYAW ZWA MOE Saturday, January 21, 2012


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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.



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Oo Maung Gyi Wrote:
23/01/2012
The Great Peoples of Burma " '88 Generation"
those are now released from the various prisons in Burma will work for reformist along with Aung San Suu Kyi is an honour fro the Biurmese peoples of 21st century. President Thein Sein is realy a reformist or not his action has been shown that he will coopearte with democratic forces of ASSK which will also be supported by "88 generation students. This is a great news of morden Burma. Now whole country is awaiting for how ASSK has to play this reformist political areneh for the sake of the development of the country. The clear picture will be come out after April 1st by election where ASSK is participating for a seat in parliament. Parliament majority is not a question, how to make progress for the country is the real goal. Who ever loves the country must support the constructive actions and strep taken by President Thein sein and Daw ASSK.

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