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Suu Kyi offers help to kin of political prisoners

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday attended the death anniversary alms ceremony of the mother of a student leader serving a long prison term, attended by more than 100 family members of other political prisoners. 

The ceremony follows the two-day visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy to Burma, Vijay Nambiar, who had called during meetings yesterday with Burmese junta officials for the release of all political prisoners.

He met Suu Kyi at her residence on Saturday and also met Foreign Minister Nyan Win, election commissioners and representatives of some ethnic political parties and the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. He claimed the UN’s role in promoting political reconciliation was appreciated by all sides, the Associated Press reported. 

Nambiar also called for inclusion of those who were prevented from or failed to contest in the recent general election, not only the winning parties, in the political process, and political change, the US press agency reported. 

Meanwhile, a ceremony was held for the third anniversary of the death of the mother of 88-Generation student leader Htay Kywe, serving a 65-year prison term in Buthitaung prison, Arakan State, at the Pannita Yarma monastery in Bahan Township, Rangoon, his younger sister Mi Mi Kywe told Mizzima.

At the event, Suu Kyi and her son Kim Aris, aka Htein Lin, met families of other student leaders serving long prison terms across the country and offered words of encouragement. She promised that her National League for Democracy party would help with their difficulties, Mi Mi Kywe said.

“Aung San Suu Kyi told us she would arrange a get-together of all family members of imprisoned student leaders. She also said health was the most important issue for prisoners and that we should watch out for their health. She asked us to inform her if we had difficulty in visiting … our loved ones,” she said.

Mi Mi Kywe said her brother was suffering from a gastric ulcer since starting his prison term at Buthitaung, 700 miles (1,120 kilometres) from Rangoon.

The ceremony was also attended by more than 100 family members of jailed 88-Generation student leaders, politicians elected in the 1990 elections and other prisoners of conscience.

The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners-Burma in a statement said that more than 2,000 political prisoners were still behind bars across the country. Many of them were 88-Generation student leaders who played a pivotal role in the pro-democracy uprisings in 1988 and were arrested and jailed again after they marched in the 2007 protests against fuel and commodity price increases. They were each given 65-year prison terms.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 November 2010 11:07 )  

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