THE PEOPLE OF 2004
covering burma and southeast asia
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COVER STORY

THE PEOPLE OF 2004


By The Irrawaddy DECEMBER, 2004 - VOLUME 12 NO.11


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(Page 15 of 25)

In the past, the service was plagued by internal conflicts, and there were even claims that “spies” and regime sympathisers had been planted there.

 

Tin Htar Swe attributed the success of the service under her leadership to “team work.”

 

Rights Group________________________________

AAPP

 

As the influence of exiled political groups has waned, human rights groups have been capturing ever more media attention.

 

One in particular, the support group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), or AAPP, has won rapidly increasing international attention since its founding in March 2000. It’s now regarded by the media and human rights organizations as a major source of information about political prisoners and related issues.

 

The presence within the AAPP of former political prisoners has given the organization and its pronouncements weight and credibility. Consequently, it has racked up great success in heightening international awareness of the plight of people held in Burmese jails because of views that conflict with those of the Rangoon regime.

 

Apart from monitoring and publicizing new arrests and the conditions of detention of political prisoners, the association, using clandestine contacts within Burma, assists their families and helps to arrange prison visits.

 

It issues regular statements, press releases and publications, distributes documentary DVDs and holds exhibitions.

 

Despite its professed mission, which would require the group to assume the role of a Burmese version of Amnesty International, or AI, some politically biased members are reportedly planning to drive AAPP into the embrace of exiled political organizations, says its critics.

 

The AAPP isn’t free of internal controversy. News emerged recently suggesting the popular co-founder Bo Kyi was running the risk of being marginalized by some fellow ex-inmates within the group. But the association said there was no truth in the reports.



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