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Win Tin permitted to travel outside Rangoon

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Win Tin, a leader with the National League for Democracy (NLD), for the first time since his release from prison in September 2008 on Monday traveled outside of Rangoon.

After serving over 19 years in prison, the veteran politician was released in September 2008 but remained under constant surveillance, prevented from leaving Rangoon due authorities withholding his national identity card.

Ohn Kyaing, a Central Executive Committee member of the NLD, however, said he was unexpectedly given his national identity card two months ago, enabling him to travel to Burma’s second largest city of Mandalay, about 430 miles north of Rangoon, to attend the centennial anniversary of the birth of the late Ludu U Hla.wintin-trip-mandalay1s

“There were no official travel restrictions imposed on U Win Tin. But he was not issued a national ID card…and without this, no one can buy air, rail or car tickets. The ID card is also necessary for the registration of overnight guests and for hotel check-ins. So, in this way, he was unable to travel to other places,” Ohn Kyaing said of his previous obstacles to moving around the country.

“But strangely this ID card was issued to him about two months ago,” Ohn Kyaing added.

Though he received the ID card some two months ago, he has since now been unable to enjoy his freedom of mobility due to undergoing cardiac surgery.

Ohn Kyaing said Win Tin had no troubles in purchasing bus tickets and reportedly reached Mandalay safely.

Win Tin was joined by Ohn Kyaing, poet Pyapon Ni Lone Oo (a.k.a. Aung Myint) and writer Monywa Aung Shin in attending the memorial of prominent journalist Ludu U Hla, which was held on Tuesday.

Win Tin, also a veteran journalist, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Hantharwady daily newspaper in Mandalay for over 10 years.

After attending the proceedings, Win Tin reportedly visited colleagues and friends on Tuesday morning before paying homage to U Pyinnya, abbot of the Taung Laylone monastery in Amarapura.

Ohn Kyaing said Win Tin is scheduled to visit the residence of the late Ludu Daw Ahmar, wife of Ludu U Hla, in Maymyo on Wednesday. But his return date to Rangoon has not yet been fixed, Ohn Kyaing added.

The 81-year old politician is one of the founding members of the NLD and was an active participant during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. He was arrested in July 1989 and sentenced to 20 years prison.

Win Tin began his career as a journalist at age 13 and later wrote several political and human rights papers while in detention in Insein prison. His writings include, Resolving Crises Through Dialogue, Demanding the Release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from House Arrest and the Situation of Human Rights Violations Inside the Burma Prisons.

He has received several awards in honor of his firm belief in democracy and human rights, including UNESCO’s Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom award, the Golden Pen of Freedom prize and the Reporters without Borders award.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 January 2010 20:42 )  

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