The Independent Sunday Review

Good old Independent – more press for the campaign. This time a short piece in the Sunday supplement magazine “The Review” and a write up about the exhibition at Amnesty UK plus U Zawana’s portrait – he was jailed for more than 16 years in Insein and Tharawaddy prisons.

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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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Caught on Camera: Burma’s Political Prisoners

Continuing the ongoing partnership with The Independent newspaper, a brief article and full gallery of images is posted on The Independent website ahead of the private view of the exhibition being held on Monday 21st June 2010 at Amnesty International UK headquarters in London. In total there are 21 portraits of former political prisoners that make up the exhibition at Amnesty International  – one for every year since Aung San Suu Kyi was first placed under house arrest.

You can read the article and view the exhibition images here: The Independent

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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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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: U Win Tin – The Voice They Cannot Silence

UK newspaper “The Independent” publishes an in-depth feature article about Burma’s Political Prisoners in the colour supplement magazine on Saturday 24th April 2010 featuring 18 images from this campaign including an EXCLUSIVE portrait of U Win Tin.

For full details of the article visit The Independent website on Saturday 24th April.

“Well you see my opinion about this government is you see, that when you have to face with a military government, you need a little bit of courage, some sort of confronting you see. Because if you are always timid and afraid and intimidated they will stamp on you. Sometimes you have to make yourself a bit courageous, outspoken and so on.

That is why when people tell me I should keep a low profile because people are very anxious about my security. You can be snatched back to prison at any time, but you can’t help it.

You can’t help you see. Of course you don’t like to go back of course, but you see you can’t help, that depends on them, their idea and their intention.

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Thailand Day 4: Mae Sot & The Party Goes On

Three days of partying are starting to take their toll – thank God today is the last day of Thingyan! Yesterday afternoon a bomb went off in Rangoon and it wasn’t really until later into the evening that we had a clearer picture of casualties. Jackie had called me in the afternoon as her sister had been down there – thankfully she was fine, but many others weren’t – it seems 5 or so people have died. The bizarre thing is if I had stayed on in Rangoon I would have been in the exact area where the bomb went off… plus it was the exact location where I had bumped in to a General and his entourage on Monday afternoon. coincidence?… definitely food for thought in my book. Also last night I got the final confirmation from Andy Buncombe at The Independent that the big article about my work would run in the magazine next saturday on 24th April – plus U Win Tin on the cover (read more here). So there was a reason to really let the hair down last night and it went on late as usual… Aiya, Reggae bar, Khungs… all the usual places and all the usual fun with my little sister Nyi Ma Ei Ei and all her crew. So the final day of partying away at Aiya with everyone. I wish Jackie was here to enjoy it but we will have to make sure its on our schedule to be here next year if we can’t all be back in Burma to experience it for real. A quiet end to the evening with dinner in the night market with Thar Gyi and Aung Khaing Min. It’s been a well earned week of relaxation (with a splattering of work at times during the day… can’t keep the camera down for too long!) but it’s back to work on Sunday as we’re heading back to Umpiem Mai camp once more.

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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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