THE PEOPLE OF 2004
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, August 24, 2019
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THE PEOPLE OF 2004


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


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(Page 19 of 25)

 

Before his arrest at the height of the pro-democracy student demonstrations of 1988, Min Ko Naing—whose name means “Conqueror of Kings”—was chairman of the banned All Burma Federation of Students’ Unions, or ABFSU.

 

He was among around 40 political prisoners freed in a prisoner release decree in November. The government said that they and thousands of other prisoners had been wrongly jailed by the National Intelligence Bureau, or NIB, of sacked Prime Minister Khin Nyunt.

 

Min Ko Naing returned rapidly to prominence following his release, giving interviews to several shortwave radio stations. Listeners were moved to hear his sober voice, recounting his prison experiences and his thoughts in general on life and the future.

 

In his political comments, however, he chose his words carefully and was cautiously optimistic. He is thought to be considering entering politics, although to be a politician in Burma you have to bear in mind two possibilities: prison or a life in exile.

 

Aung San Suu Kyi (democracy leader and Nobel laureate)

 

Burma’s best-known democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate is still in detention as she approaches her 60th birthday, her chances of release in the foreseeable future dashed in November by an extension of the government order confining her to her home on the outskirts of Rangoon.



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