Friday, 15 November 2019

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Nargis volunteers, including reporter arrested

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A number of members of a Cyclone Nargis volunteer group, ‘Lin Let Kye’, including freelance journalist Pai Soe Oo were arrested from Dagon Seikkan, Rangoon Division yesterday evening.

Pai Soe Oo (23), an active member of Lin Let Kye, means Shining Star, was arrested by local township authorities from his Yuzana Housing Apartment in Dagon Seikkan Township at 9 p.m. for questioning.

“Three persons wearing USDA badges and three local officials came and said that he would be taken to the Home Ministry. When I was ready to go with him, they said they would come again tomorrow,” a friend of Pai Soe Oo living with him told Mizzima.

Following a search of his home, the officials seized a note book with the names of Lin Let Kye members.

Pai Soe Oo is a former reporter of ‘Favorite’ and ‘Pyi Myanmar’ weeklies. He is also a blogger.

The Lin Let Kye volunteer group was formed in early May 2008 and has over 40 members. Most of them are Rangoon based reporters and young social activists.

“They compiled a list of Cyclone Nargis victims, who are children and donated school text books and provided other school expenses, in consultation with the school principals,” a source close to Lin Let Kye said.

The gatekeeper of the Home Ministry office said that there was no detainee in the Bahan Township office when asked about his whereabouts this morning.

“We visited the Home Ministry office this morning when he did not come back. The police personnel at the gate kept us waiting for over three hours. And then the gatekeeper appeared and told us that there was no detainee in the office. He suggested we inquire about him at the office of the local authority and the local police station,” one of those, who visited the Home Ministry office, said.

Similarly at least five other members of ‘Lin Let Kye’ were arrested from their rented apartment in Yuzana Housing on October 26.  They are Ka Gyi, Zaw Gyi, Lai Ron, Shwe Moe and Aung Myat Kyaw Thu. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

The Burmese translator-editor of the Foreign Affairs Weekly and also a Lin Let Kye member, Thant Zin Soe was arrested on October 26. The Foreign Affairs journal is published by the media group, which also publishes ‘The Voice’ and ‘Living Colour’.

Some Lin Let Kye members are on the run as the authorities are conducting combing operations against the group.

The authorities also arrested famous comedian and film director Thura a.k.a. Zarganar and sports journalist Zaw Thet Htwe, while they were into volunteer service for Cyclone Nargis victims. They were sentenced to long prison terms later.

(Reported by Khai Suu and edited by Ye Yint Aung)


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