New Delhi (Mizzima) – Two top leaders of the National League for Democracy and party youth-wing members visited to the families of detained 88 Generation Students’ leaders on Tuesday to offer support and encouragement.
Party vice-chairman Tin Oo, central executive committee member Win Tin and nine members of the NLD’s youth wing visited the families of 88 Generation Students Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Mar Ki in the morning. The student leaders are serving 65-year prison sentences.
“They [the students’ leaders] have made great sacrifices in the interest of democracy so we are visiting their family members to encourage them and express our support,” Tin Oo told Mizzima.
The families’ members warmly welcomed the NLD leaders and young people to the homes of Min Ko Naing and Mar Ki in Thingangyun Township and Ko Ko Gyi’s home in South Okkalapa Township, both towns in eastern Rangoon.
Aung Aung Tun, a brother of Ko Ko Gyi, told Mizzima: “We are happy because of their visit to encourage us. We thank them. They asked me about my brother’s health condition and whether we can meet him often or not because the prison where he is detained is very far away”.
The 88 Generation Students’ leaders were released from prison at the end of 2004 while Tin Oo was imprisoned after the May 30, 2003 Depayin Massacre. They were again arrested in August 2007 and Win Tin was released from prison on September 23, 2008. Tin Oo was released on February 13, 2010.
“They’ve fought for democracy and human rights, so we are very grateful to them for all that they have done for our nation,” Tin Oo said. “When they were released from prison in 2004, we were being held and didn’t have chance to meet them, so we arranged to visit their family members to express our support for them.”
The other leaders of the 88 Generation Students are Mya Aye, Jimmy, Min Zeya, Thet Zaw, Aye Than aka Thant Tin, Kyaw Kyaw Htwe, Zaw Zaw Min, Ant Bwe Kyaw, Pandate Tun, Nilar Thein, Mar Mar Oo, Sandar Min, Mi Mi aka Thin Thin Aye and Thet Thet Aung. Along with Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Mar Ki, they were arrested again for organising peaceful protests to condemn sharp fuel price rises in August 2007 and were sentenced to 65-year prison terms on November 11, 2008.
Although the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), an underground organisation, had not run student conferences after its sixth student conference in 1960, Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Moe Thee Zun organised the seventh student conference to reorganise the ABFSU on 28 August, 1988.
But, since the military junta took power on September 18, 1988, the student leaders were among the thousands of political prisoners arrested. They were sentenced to more than 15 years in jail.
In late 2004, the student leaders were released and continued to carry out political activities under the name of “88 Generation Students”.