Paper worth 20-year prison sentence released
An 8-page policy paper prepared by the Rangoon-based United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which had cost a Shan leader a 20-year sentence of imprisonment in 2005 was released yesterday.
A copy of the paper entitled “The future of Burma,” written in Burmese, was
seized by junta authorities during a two-day sweep of prominent Shan activists
that netted 9 of them on 8-9 February 2005.
Sai Nyunt Lwin, General Secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), who undertook to type the manuscript, is currently serving an 85 year sentence in Kalay, Sagaing division.
Charges include treason and defamation of the state, among others.
As for others:
- Maj-Gen Hso Ten 106 years Khamti prison
- Khun Tun Oo (Hkun Htun Oo) 93 years Putao prison
- Sai Hla Aung 79 years Kyaukphyu prison
- U Myint Than 79 years Sandoway prison
- U Tun Nyo 79 years Buthidaung prison
- U Nyi Nyi Moe 79 years Pakokku prison
- Sai Myo Win Tun 79 years Myingyan prison
- Sao Tha Oo 12 years Released
The arrest and imprisonment of Hso Ten, leader of the Shan State Army (SSA) North, marked the beginning of strained relationship between the junta and the armed movements that had entered ceasefire pacts with Rangoon.
Khun Tun Oo, who was given 95 years, is the leader of the SNLD, that came out second countrywide and first statewide in the 1990 elections.
One of them, Myint Than, died after a year in prison.
The UNA was formed on 31 July 2002 by ethnic parties that had won seats in the 1990 elections.
The paper forecasted that there is no way the country under military rule will become “a modern and developed nation” as envisaged by the military government.
It also hailed the federal draft charter submitted by the exiled National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) to the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) in March 1996 as in line with the 1961 federal proposal submitted by the ethnic representatives at the Shan State capital Taunggyi.
The NCGUB, according to the paper, had called for:
- A federal union made up of “national states” and “nationalities states”
- Equal power between the upper and lower legislative houses
- Equal representation for each state in the upper house
- Provision of “Exclusive Legislative Powers” of the federal asembly and “Concurrent Legislative Powers” of the member states
The Opposition since then has already drawn another draft based on the principles of federalism.