Mon 18 Dec 2006
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Detained 88 generation student leader Ko Ko Gyi’s 45th birthday was celebrated today by pro-democracy activists. The activists and relatives of detained student leaders got together at a Buddhist monastery near Chaukhtutgyi pagoda in Rangoon to celebrate his birthday.
More than 500 people including leaders of ethnic nationalities, veteran politicians, members of National League for Democracy and family members of detained student leaders were offered Swam for the monks.
Leaflets with Ko Ko Gyi’s speech “We believe in non-violence to solve political problems and to develop our country. This is our vow,” along with his photographs were distributed to the gathering.
“Celebrating birthdays of people who are not present among us is not unusual for us. We don’t have any special bad moments in such cases. We are proud of our detained leaders. We respect them. They made the ultimate sacrifice by spending many years in jail for loving their country and now they are doing the same again. Though they are not free, their spirit has reached out to younger students,” said Mya Aye, among the current leadership of 88 generation students to Mizzima.
Ko Ko Gyi, one of the popular leaders in the 1988 nation-wide uprising was the vice-chairman of the banned All Burma Federation of Student Unions or ABFSU. He was imprisoned in 1991 and released after nearly 14 years in jail.
Ko Ko Gyi, along with the former chairman of ABFSU Min Ko Naing, Min Zeya, Pyone Cho and Htay Kywe were picked up again in September from their homes by the police.
“We don’t want to continue to dig into history and play the blame game. We want to leave the bad things in the past and don’t want to take them along. However, we don’t like the system of dictatorship and we will not accept any form of dictatorship. We want a system which allows everyone to express their opinion and ideologies. So, basically we want democracy and we prefer it,” said Mya Aye.