Monday, 31 December 2007

Senior General Than Shwe Being Asked For Permission To See Ko Htin Kyaw

31 December 2007
Original report by Maung Too, DVB

The family and colleagues of Ko Htin Kyaw, the famous leader of instigating protests against increased fuel prices, have applied directly to Senior General Than Shwe for permission to see him as his health deteriorates rapidly after 32 consecutive days of hunger strike.

Ko Thein Myint Aung, a colleague of Ko Htin Kyaw said,' We have written to the Senior General for permission to see Ko Htin Kyaw, so that we could beg him to defer the hunger strike. The country is losing so many pro-democracy people and we intend to stop that'.

Ko Htin Kyaw was arrested on 25 August for leading the fuel protest. During his custody, he started the hunger strike, demanding the release of all political prisoners. According to the news of prison authority circle his condition is rapidly deteriorating as the hunger strike days reached 32nd.

The Interview with Ko Thein Aung Myint

'Ko Htin Kyaw is in a serious condition. We would like to see him, to beg him to temporarily call off with the hunger strike and we have sent our application for permission to see him.'

DVB : Where did you send your applications?

'To the Senior General Than Shwe, The Home Office Ministry and the local SB.'

DVB : Why do MDC (Myanmar Development Council) members want Ko Htin Kyaw to defer the hunger strike?

'We are worried about his health. If his actions were not 100% successful, we believe that they have nevertheless been extremely effective. It has been very successful up to certain level. The recent release of many monks, if not all, is proof of this. Under the current authority, the government is not going to take actions againt the hunger strike, which means we are only going to lose Ko Htin Kyaw, if he dies. We do not want to lose any more of the pro-democracy people as we can't afford it. We have already lost so many of them. That's why we are trying to stop him.'

DVB : When did you send off the applications? Have you had any reply?

'The applications were sent off on 27 December. We have not received any reply so far.'

DVB : It is the end of the year now. With respect, the State and the authority has not treated or replied it's subjects, groups, organisations and parties, whenever they tried to communicate either in persons or by letters. What would you like to say about that?

'It is a great shame that our government do not show us enough respect to communicate with individuals or groups and organisations, but I do not want to say any more than that. In our country, everything is so hard for people. Our government is extremely sensitive. Every little conversation or gossip is treated as an insult, defamation or even trying to destroy the country. We just feel like walking on the edge of a steep cliff. We just do not want to say anything.'

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