Monday, 7 January 2008

Deteriorating Health of Imprisoned Shan Leaders

6 January 2008
Original reporty by Maung Too, DVB

The family of Sai Hla Aung, Shan Leader, who is serving the long term imprisonment in Kyauk Hpu prison, Rakhine, has applied his transfer to Rangoon , in order to get the hospital treatment for him, it is reported.

Sai Hla Aung, who is diabetic, is said to have been very weak and tired according to Sai Laik, spokeperson, Shan National League for Democracy Party.

"The family has applied for his transfer to Rangoon (Insein) prison and then to be permitted to have treatment in Rangoon General Hospital. The application has been sent to the Minister of Home Affairs, Director General of Prison Department and the prison authorities about 15 days ago but so far they haven't received any reply or an acknowedgement as yet," he added.

Sai Hla Aung and 7 other Shan Leaders were arrested in early 2003 and subsequently charged with offences for 'asking for rights for Shan nationals' and rebelling against the national conference, and were imprisoned from 70 to 100 years. Sai Hla Aung is serving his 79 years.

"Kun Tun Oo, chairman, Shan National League for the Democracy Party , who has been imprisoned in Puta O, Kachin State, also has deteriorating health," continued Sai Laik. "The temperature is reaching -2'C in Puta O. He is also suffering from gall bladder problems."

It is reported that Sai Nyi Moe, who is suffering from haemorrhoids in Pakkoku prison has still not been given permission for treatment.

Shan National League for Democracy Party won the second biggest vote in the 1990 General Election, held by military government. The spokeperson continued to urge the government to release all political prisoners including Shans and to start meaningful political discussion.

"As the military rulers of the country, the government must engage in meaningful discussions concerning political reform which the public has been desperately seeking. Start being constructive, if you really love the country and its people, that is,' said U Sai Laik.

"These demands are made not because we want to hold political power for ourselves but we have true desire for the population of the entire nation to contribute to, and share in the well-being of the national economy. "

The 8 Shan Leaders, who are serving long-term prison sentences are;

Kun Tun Oo, Chairaman, Shan National League for Democracy Party, in Puta O prison
Sai Nyunt Lwin, General Secretary, Shan NLD Party, in Kalay prison
General Say Htin in Kum Tee prison
Sai Hla Aung in Kuauk Hpu prison
Sai Tun Nyo in Boothee Taung prison
Sai Myo Win Tun in Myin Chan prison and
Sai Nyi Moe in Pakkoku prison.

Sai Myint Than in Than Dwe' prison however, succombed to combined effects of neglect and hard conditions, passed away in 2006.

Ever since these Shan Leaders have been arrested in 2003, international organisations and the United Nations have been demanding their release.

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