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.