EXCLUSIVE: Zarganar – A New Poem from Inside Hell

Below is an EXCLUSIVE new poem from Zarganar who is currently detained in Myitkyina prison in Kachin state. The poem was received by his good friend Htein Lin (and former political prisoner) who drew the accompanying illustration and asked me to publish them for you all to enjoy… so here they are:

‘Untitled’
by Zarganar, Myitkyina Jail, 2010

It’s lucky my forehead is flat

Since my arm must often rest there.

Beneath it shines a light I must invite

From a moon I cannot see

In Myitkyina.

Zarganar @ Thura was first jailed in 1988 and spent 1 year in Insein prison for his role in the mass demonstrations. He was jailed once more in 1990 and this time was sentenced to 4 years in prison. But it was in 2008 that the SPDC dealt the most severe of sentences on him due to his humanitarian efforts in helping those whose lives where devastated in Cyclone Nargis whilst all the Generals could do was stand and watch. On 21st November 2008 Zarganar is sentenced by the Court to 45 years imprisonment for violations of the Electronics Act. On 29th November 2008 he receives an additional 14 years under four sections of the criminal code—17/2, 32 (b), 295 (a) and 505 (b), bringing the total sentence to 59 years. However, on 16th February 2009 following appeals, Yangon Divisional Court reduces the prison sentence by “up to 24 years”, bringing the sentence down to 35 years. He is currently detained in Myitkyina prison in Kachin State.

Copyright © ENIGMA IMAGES and HTEIN LIN and not to be reproduced without permission.
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Happy Birthday Zarganar

Comedian. Actor. Director. Political Prisoner

Today Zarganar @ Maung Thura celebrates his 49th birthday as one of Burma’s most prominent political prisoners. Born on 27th January 1961 in Rangoon, Zarganar (Zar Ga Nar / Zargana) is not only one of Burma’s most famous comedians, film director and actor, but he is also one of the most fierce critics of the ruling military regime. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for his role in both publicly criticising the military regime’s response to Cylcone Nargis as well as for his involvement in leading a group of entertainers in distributing private aid deliveries to cyclone affected areas and its victims. He was arrested on teh evening of 4th June having been previously detained 4 times already. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison on 21 November 2008 for violating the Electronics Act, and received an additional 14-year prison term on 27 November for offences under four sections of the criminal code – 17/2, 32 (b), 295 (a) and 505 (b) – for his peaceful opposition activities, bringing the total sentence to 59 years in prison. This total of 59 years in prison later commuted to 35 years.

He is currently detained in Myitkina prison in Kachin State and is suffering from extreme ill-health.

This is Htein Lin, friend of Zargana and former political prisoner. He was detained for 6 years in Insein, Mandalay and Myaungmya prisons.

Copyright © ENIGMA IMAGES and not to be reproduced without permission.
All Rights Reserved