Fri 31 Aug 2007
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Nay Chi knows nothing of the mood of protest now gripping Burma. How can she? She’s just five months old-but she is as much a victim of regime repression as the protesters now in jail or in hiding.
Her father is among the detained activists. Her mother is in hiding. Nay Chi’s grandmother is now looking after her.
â€œIt’s very difficult to keep her in a safe place,â€ said a family friend who arranged security for Nay Chi’s mother, Nilar Thein. â€œThe authorities are also hunting for her,â€ she told The Irrawaddy on Friday.
Nilar Thein is a member of the 88 Generation Students group. She escaped when the authorities and pro-regime thugs broke up a Rangoon demonstration in which she was participating. The demonstrators also included the prominent woman activist Mi Mi, who is also member of 88 Generation Students group, and National League for Democracy members Naw Ohn Hla and Phyu Phyu Thin.
Nilar Thein’s husband, and Nay Chi’s father, is Kyaw Min Yu, also known as Jimmy, a leader of the 88 Generation Students group. He was arrested on August 21, along with 12 other activists, including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Htay Win Aung, Min Zeya and Mya Aye, after leading a demonstration against sharp increases in the price of fuel and other commodities.
Several other leading activists now in hiding from the authorities include Su Su Nway, Mi Mi, Phyu Phyu Thin and Htay Kywe. The Irrawaddy managed to contact Su Su Nway on Friday, and she commented: â€œIt’s shameful. Those people ruling the country are cruelly cracking down on peaceful protesters, including women. The regime has no sympathy for us.â€
While Nilar Thein remains in hiding, friends try to help Nay Chi’s grandmother care for the baby-but even they are victims of regime intimidation. one man who wanted to deliver a gift of milk powder confessed he had decided to call off his visit for fear of alerting the attention of the authorities.
â€œWe are very sad for the child, with her mother on the run and her father detained by in an unknown location,â€ he said.