A Letter from Aung San Suu Kyi’s Right Hand Man

Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi (…and U Win Tin and Me!) make the front page today as a letter from U Win Tin has been published in the Independent newspaper in the UK in a three page article including the front page where the letter is printed. You can read the article online here at The Independent website.

It’s also my first ever front page of a national newspaper – not just picture, but the whole front page and to have it for this reason is overwhelming as it comes from my absolute hero Saya U Win Tin. Naturally I can’t divulge any information about the receipt of this letter other than it was secretly smuggled out of Burma to me under great risk, but it is an extraordinary impassioned plea by U Win Tin on behalf of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and  the people of Burma that puts all “statements of concern” ever made by world leaders and the UN to shame.

Now is the time for them to truely stand up and be counted. Tomorrow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be 65 and enough is enough. Ban Ki Moon’s personal mission and the same statements issued by leaders across the globe must now become set in stone by the UNSC as an action that HAS to be fulfilled by the regime in Burma – The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners – a fundamental aspect for any form of democratic change in Burma.

Above is the part of the letter printed in today’s Independent newspaper. The rest of the letter will remain private.

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Zarganar. The Man The Junta Could Not Silence.

Late on Sunday 6th June I received an email from Htein Lin. It contained a new poem from his close friend Zarganar and was accompanied by an illustration from Htein Lin himself. It is a remarkably moving poem and illustration as well. The fact that Zarganar is in Myitkyina jail serving a 35 year sentence has done nothing to stem his creative ability. The few of us who were sent the poem were asked if we could publish it where possible, so I put it up here on this blog and sent it to my friend Andy Buncombe, South East Asia correspondent at The Independent (he had previously done the 5 page story in The Independent on Saturday magazine featuring U Win Tin). Three days and many phone calls later it was published in the newspaper, a double spread centrefold. A truely fitting tribute to an icon of modern times.

Zarganar. Your words are loud even though your voice may be silenced.

Below is the article as printed in The Independent – click HERE to read it online.

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PRESS: The Independent – Andrew Buncombe

Interview with my good friend Andrew Buncombe, South East Asia correspondent for The Independent (a UK broadsheet newspaper). I had been in Bangkok no more than a few hours before the phone goes and its Andy… “I want to use one of your photos to do a piece on you – is that ok?” Just six months earlier we had met randomly on a bus to Mae Sot and the bizarre thing is that I had literally just returned from Mo Chit bus station where I had just bought my ticket to Mae Sot for this trip… coincidence or some hidden meaning?!

Click here to read the article online.

The Independent - Andrew Buncombe

The Independent

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