Waiting for Aunty and the Washington Post

On a day that actually started the day before for many of us, we are still no closer to really knowing if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be released from her latest detention of house arrest. Rumours, counter rumours and a frenzy of expectation and hope saw hundreds line the streets in anticipation of the impending release of Burma’s democracy icon but the wait goes on – tomorrow is another day.

U Win Htein arrives at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon

U WIn Tin arrives at University Avenue

Throughout the day NLD leaders and hundreds of supporters gathered at both University Avenue and outside the NLD headquarters in Rangoon quietly waiting despite SPDC sponsored thugs watching closely and MI frantically photographing (I’m glad I don’t have to edit their photos later tonight!). The world’s media had to rely on second-hand information for the most part with only a handful of foreign journalists masquerading as tourists in Rangoon. Melissa Bell has posted about this project on the Washington Post today as Ba Ba U Win Tin must now hopefully only have to wait one more day.

Whether she is finally freed tomorrow may depend on her acceptance of conditions imposed on her by the regime, restricting her movements and political activities. You can be sure she will demand full freedom and accept nothing less. There are still 2,202 to come after her. She will be the first to remind the world about that before anything else.

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U Win Htein Freed After 20 Years In Hell

Some fantastic news this morning as U Win Htein was freed form Katha prison after serving nearly twenty years in prison.

Aung Myo Thein spent more than 6 years in Insein prison

(U) Win Htein served in the military for five years and became a Captain. He was PA (Personal Assistant) of then Commander-in-Chief General Tin Oo (now NLD Vice Chairman). He was arrested in 1980s for his involvement with Captain Ohn Kyaw Myin, who was hanged for state treason. (U) Win Htein was sentenced seven-year imprisonments.

During the 1988 popular uprising and when the National League for Democracy was formed, he became active member of the NLD and served as personal assistant and senior adviser of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo. He was arrested briefly in early 1989 and was severely tortured by the military intelligence. Then he was arrested again in 1989 and spent over five and a half year in prison until 1995.

On May 22, 1996, he was arrested again by the regime. He was accused that he provided false information to foreign media and providing fabricated news and information about the situation of farmers in the delta region, charged with two counts under Section 5 (J) of the Emergency Provision Act, and sentenced seven-year each for two cases, altogether 14-year imprisonment on August 15, 1996.

On Sep 23, 2008, he was released from Kathar Prison, Kathar Township, Sagaing Division, over a thousand miles away from his home town Rangoon. He stayed that night at a guest house in Kathar and called his wife. He asked her and other family members to come to Mandalay, middle point between Rangoon and Kathar, where they would meet and reunion. His wife, Daw Done Done, and family quickly left for Mandalay and they, together with NLD members from Mandalay, waited at the port to pick up (U) Win Htein, whom should be coming with a passenger boat from Kathar. However, he didn’t show up. Later, prison authorities contacted Daw Done Done and informed that they have put (U) Win Htein back in prison as some situation were changed.

Finally today after spending a total of more than 20 years in prison he is free.

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