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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2521

Democracy activists continues to be arrested in Burma

Ottawa, 03 October, ( Two more prominent Burmese dissidents - Min Zeya and Pyone Cho - were arrested last Friday (Sept. 29) in Rangoon. Canadian Friends of Burma pointed out "Sadly, it took place a few hours after Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay issued a statement condemning the arrests of three student leaders in prior."

Min Zeya already served 8 years and Pyone Cho 14 years in prison for their leading role in the 1988 Democracy uprising in Burma. Another activist Myint Aye, a former township leader of an opposition party (NLD), was also detained in the same day. The latest arrests are reported to be related to inquiring and demanding for the release of three student leaders detained on Sept. 27.

On Monday, a signature campaign demanding for national reconciliation and the release of all political prisoners including the recently re-arrested student leaders has been launched in Rangoon by 88 Student Generation, the organization led by detained student leaders.

Three prominent dissidents Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Kyi and Htay Kywe have been reportedly kept in separate and unknown location since Sept. 27. Their families are quoted as saying to Burmese shortwave radio stations that the authorities asked for their clothes and belongings, which is interpreted for activists as a longer detention.

Meanwhile, a Burmese media based on western Burma has reported that prison officials in Sittwe, the capital city of Arakan State of Burma, are on high alert after receiving phone calls from senior military officials from Rangoon, creating rumors among prisoners that a high profile prisoner, most likely Min Ko Naing, is coming back to where he had been detained for almost 16 years before being released on Nov. 19, 2004.

According to sources, student leaders are being compelled to sign on a decree that prevent them from criticizing the military-sponsored National Convention scheduled to reopen on Octeber 10.

They all are most likely to go back to prison again without signing on the decree that is to quiet the differences in opinion, especially towards the procedures and proceeding of the National Convention with which the military is trying to legitimate its role in Burma. Dr. Aung Khin Sint, MP-elect in 1990 election and a senior leader of the opposition party (NLD), was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment in 1993 for peacefully expressing his opinions regarding the Convention.

Canadian Friends of Burma have urged in their statement that stronger international voice is urgently needed for their release. Canadian Foreign Minister condemned this act last Friday issuing a statement, and Canadian parliament members and members of Canadian society organizations also expressed concerns on their conditions.

- Asian Tribune -

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