Monday, 18 November 2019

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Poet Saw Wai to be freed on May 26

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Well known Burmese poet Saw Wai, sentenced to two years in prison for his acrostic poem, which concealed a message saying “Senior General Than Shwe is crazy with power”, will be released on May 26, his wife Nan San San Aye said.

After San San Aye was permitted to meet her husband in the Yamethin Prison [Mandalay Division] she found her husband’s name in the list of prisoners to be released this month.

“He will be freed on May 26. His name is in the list of prisoners to be released soon. He told me that he will go back home alone when freed,” Nan San San Aye said.

“He looked active and told me that he wanted to have his cataract operated. His vision is cloudy,” she added.

In his acrostic poem, titled “February 14”, if the first letters of each line of the poem are put together, they read “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe” in Burmese. His poem was published in Achit [Love] Journal in January 21, 2008. He was sentenced two years in prison for this.

Saw Wai was also an organizer of ‘Phyoo Friends Reading Team’, which gave awards for literature annually. He also arranged poem recitals critical of the junta in Rangoon and Mandalay to raise fund for orphans suffering from AIDS.

He was awarded the Hellman/Mammett Award by the US based NGO ‘Human Rights Watch’ for 2009 because of his bold write ups against the military dictatorship.

There are more than 2100 political prisoners in Burma including, 41 political prisoners till December 31, 2009. They include poets, authors, journalists and bloggers, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), a Thailand based organization.


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