There is precedence to giving out an award to an organization for the award initially or usually meant for a person e.g. Noble Peace Prizes and Times magazine’s “man of the year” awarded to organizations.
Therefore, I hereby wish to nominate 88-Generation Student leaders for the Politicians of the year 2006 for Burma. During the 8888 uprising the had successfully lead the people’s uprising causing the downfall of three successive governments of General Ne Win, Sein Lwin and Dr Maung Maung.
Paw Oo Tun was a 3rd year zoology student in Rangoon University in 1988. He was a prominent leader in the 8888 people’s uprising. His nom de plume is Min Ko Naing or in English Conqueror of King! 1988 Student uprising started with the death of 2 RIT or Rangoon Institute of Technology students Ko Phone Maw and Ko Soe Naing on 13 March 1988.
In a 1988 speech, the fiery student leader said: “If we want to enjoy the same rights as people in other countries, we have to be disciplined, united and brave enough to stand up to the dictators,” according to Amnesty.
Min Ko Naing was arrested on 23 March 1989, sentenced to 20 years in December 1991, which was later commuted to 10 years. He was not released after completing his sentence in 1999. Moe The Zun, Ko Ko Gyi, Jimmy, Min Zayar, Pyone Cho and Htay Kywe are prominent leaders of 88-Generation Students group. Min Ko Naing was freed in Nov 2004. Immediately after his release, he had two interviews with the BBC and the RFA or Radio Free Asia.
Ko Min Ko Naing was only free for 11 months after a 16 year term in the Akyab prison; Ko Ko Gyi was released in March 2005 after nearly 14 years imprisonment.The SPDC Junta rearrested the 88 Generation Student leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe on September 27 and Min Zayar and Pyone Cho on September 30, 2006. The arresting law enforcement persons told the student leaders and their family members that the top generals wanted to see them for discussions.
- In many civilized countries that practice Rule of Just Laws, the arresting authorities must tell the person why they were arrested, the reason for their arrest, under which Section of the Law and may need to show the arrest warrant.
- If any thing wrong or even if the warrant is technically defective they could be released with the Habeas corpus application at the respective court of law. Actually,
- Human Rights and individual freedom covers all the aspects of humans_
- All the citizens must enjoy the Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture like this re-arrest of the 88 Generation Student leaders.
- All individuals are “innocent until proven otherwise”
At the press conference, the SPDC falsely accused that they had detained the student leaders for questioning related to terrorist attacks and for the financial aid received from the foreign embassies. SPDC claimed that they have to arrest in order to prevent internal unrest and instability The embassies had denied the accusation of given any financial support and the whole world knew that the 88 Generation Students are not terrorists at all. If SPDC could not prove their ridiculous accusations, their international credibility and dignity would go down the drain further more.
1. The whole world know that the 88 Generation Students have been relentlessly calling peacefully for the non-violent ways of resistance.
2. They are advocating for national reconciliation and
3. even claimed openly that they could forgive and forget every thing even the imprisonment and injustices done on them.
4. Their only fault is they are asking for a peaceful dialogue and pressing for the democracy, human rights and individual freedom.
Min Ko Naing and his colleagues were slowly reactivating Burmese People for a political awareness and taking the leader role from the senile and inactive NLD leaders. Although they had suffered a lot in the jails for a long time, they are not scared and started their political activities again. They organized the 18th anniversary of the 1988 uprising in August this year where few thousands of people dare to attend. They requested the military leaders to start a dialogue with the opposition and ethnic leaders instead of continuing the National Convention.
The top leaders were arrested on 27th June 2006 on the 18th anniversary of the founding of the National League for Democracy.
On the 02nd October the remaining 88 Generation Students group started the first-ever-public- campaign against the SPDC and gathered signatures for a petition calling for the release of political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. More than half a million people sign the petition although they were harassed by SPDC Kyant Phuts and their thugs. The signatures were later presented to the UN.
Later they organized “White Expression” requesting the people to wear white clothes to protest the SPDC. It was continued until the 44th birthday of Ko Min Ko Naing on 18 October.
On the 29th October, they started a third campaign, called “Multi Religious Prayer Campaign,” and requested the people to wear white clothing and hold candlelight vigils and prayers in temples, churches and mosques.
Ko Mya Aye & Ko Jimmy, the remaining ones of the 88 Generation leaders told the BBC Burmese fearlessly_
“Burmese people have to stay away from politics, because the government has kept them out. They are always looking for a way to participate in politics, so that is why we are trying to involve them.”
So the 88 Generation Student Group and Leaders are the prime movers and shakers of Burma Politics in 2006.