All Burma Students Union(ABFSU) has been reformed

The former leaders of All Burma Students Union (ABSU) as well as the subsequent generations of students have regrouped for the first time since 1962 to reform the ABSU. The new committee include Chairperson Ko Kyaw Kyaw Ko, Secondary chair-people Ko De Nyein Lin and Ko Lin Htet Naing and Secretary Ma Phyo Phyo Aung.


The slogan of ABSU is ‘If we have students we must have a student’s union’. Though three members of the committee (the chairman and secondary chair-people) have recently been released from prison, they have already organised the reforming of the student’s union.


Chairperson Ko Kyaw Kyaw Ko said “During today’s discussion we will discuss how the ABSU will remain a legal organisation. We have also decided to set up an organising committee. The purpose of reforming ABSU is to retain the historical significance of ABSU’s past achievements and for the future, to visit the entire country to recruit new members to recreate the important movement ABSU used to be”


The current duty of the organising committee is to protect the rights of students across the country and to campaign to release the remaining student prisoners in captivity for example Ko Aye Aung. The long term goals of the committee are to organise local and ethnic ABSU subgroups and also to host conferences.


The Chairman informs us that “the organising committee will contain 12 members. The chairperson, the secondary chairpeople and the secretary will be the same as the ABSU committee, joint secretaries are Ko Aung Aung Kyaw and Ko Min Thwe Thit, Media and Information Officer is Ko Thi Ha Win Tin, Foreign Affairs Officer is Ko Phone Pye Khwel, Student Rights Protection Officer is Ko Si Thu Manung, Research and Development Officer is Ko Ye Min Oo, Financial Officer is Ma Han Nee Oo and Ethnic Student’s Issues Officer is Ko Nanda Sat Aung”.



This meeting is also being attended by the former leader of ABSU who has been recently released from jail, the current generation’s student leader and the former leader from 1962 as well as previous leaders of the 1996, ’97, ’98 and 2003 student generations.


ABSU students have been jailed because of their active movement for the rights of students. The ABSU’s ability to mobilise students to take action resulted in heavy monitoring and a government crackdown.


During the colonial government the ABSU were recognised as a legal organisation. ABSU were pivotal to the anti-colony government movement as well as the national liberation movement. During the Revolution Council in 1962 when General Nay Win led the coup to gain power, he killed many ABSU leaders and bombed the ABSU building as well as making ABSU an illegal organisation.


Thet Nwe,Tortured activist dies days after jail release

Tortured activist dies days after jail release thumbnail

A political activist who underwent spells of physical and mental illness resulting from severe torture during his decade in jail in Burma has died only 10 days after being freed.

Thet Nwe was among nearly 300 political prisoners released in the 13 January amnesty that drew widespread international praise of the Thein Sein administration and included high-profile dissidents such as Min Ko Naing and Ashin Gambira.

His sister, Marlaw Nwe, who was arrested alongside Thet Nwe in December 2002, told DVB today that he had died yesterday afternoon from liver disease. When she saw him at the gates of Insein prison on 13 January, he was lying in a trishaw having been unable to walk the few steps from the prison block to the edge of the compound. His teeth had been knocked out during a heavy bout of torture years before.

“He seemed happy then, even though he was in a lot of pain.”

The 54-year-old had worked as an organiser for the National League for Democracy–Liberated Areas in Thailand before he returned to Burma in 2002. Upon his arrival, he and Marlaw Nwe were arrested and taken to an interrogation centre run by Military Intelligence officials operating under the auspices of former prime minister and intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, who was released from house arrest on the same day as Thet Nwe.

Marlar Nwe said that interrogators held her brother’s head in a toilet filled with faeces and repeatedly hit him over the head. His hands and feet were shackled and only one hand freed from time to time to allow him to eat. The trauma was so severe that twice during his internment he was admitted to Rangoon Psychiatric Hospital.

After the ordeal, judges sentenced him to 38 years in prison under the Emergency Act, Immigration Act and the Unlawful Association Act. His release 10 days ago came after years of pressure from family members and campaigning groups in Thailand.

“He was afraid to die in prison,” said Marlaw Nwe, who was released herself from Insein jail in 2005 and has since remained in Rangoon. Thet Nwe had penned a number of poems whilst detained, including one that earned him an award from Germany, she said.

His funeral will be held tomorrow in Rangoon. “I would like to tell the government to stop tormenting people under false and unfair charges like the way they did my younger brother,” she said.

The amnesty was the most far-reaching enacted by Burma since military rule began in 1962, and has been followed by a flurry of international activity on Burma, including the EU’s announcement today that it would begin lifting sanctions in response to reforms.

The number of political prisoners left in Burma continues to be debated – Amnesty International claims 274 were freed on 13 January, while the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma put the figure at 299. The group estimates that nearly 1,000 people sentenced on politically-motivated charges remain behind bars.