19 October, 2007

Freedom Fighter Ko Htay Kywe

Ko Htay Kywe at Insein Hospital in 2004.

Biography of Ko Htay Kywe:

Born on June 12, 1968 in Rangoon city to the parents of U Kywe and Daw Mi Mi Lay

Third son with the siblings of Ko Aung Kyaw Oo, Ko Win kywe, and Ma Mi Mi Kywe.

Completed matriculation exams in 1985.

Attended Rangoon Arts and Science University (Hlaing campus) & majored in Geology.

A second year student in 1988.

A pioneer of the 1988 nationwide pro-democracy uprising and active organizer during the 1988 protests and a spokesperson for his fellow students.

Co-founded student groups and later served as a catalyst for the country wide demonstrations against the military junta.

March 16, 1988: He led the Rangoon Arts & Science University student demonstrations and the “Red Bridge” protests – also known as “March Affairs”.

March 17, 1988: As joint-secretary of the Progressive Students Organization (Ta-Ta-Pha in Burmese), he helped convene the Rangoon Arts & Science University boycott of the government-led Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP).

► March 22, 1988: He was arrested in Henzada city along with his older brother, Win Kywe, also a student leader and former political prisoner now deceased. They were detained at Insein jail.

July 7, 1988: He was released.

► July 28, 1988: He co-founded the All Burma Students Democratic Movement Organization ABSDMO (Ma-Ka-Da in Burmese) and served as deputy chair. The organization was formed to facilitate country-wide boycotts and to organize the formation of the “Four Eights” of the (8-8-88) general strike committee. As one of the leading members of the ABSDMO’s 119-member organizing

committee, he acted as the key figure in opposing military rule. He was also at the forefront in the forming of the shadow government.

► September 18, 1988: The military staged a coup and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)came into power. General Khin Nyunt was Secretary -1 of the SLORC at this time.

► November 28, 1988: General Khin Nyunt extended an invitation to the student representatives to meet. Htay Kywe participated as a member of the student representatives at this meeting. After forming the All Burma Students Union’s Reestablishment Committee, Htay Kywe, in the capacity of vice-chairman, facilitated as liaison, several discussion meetings between the pro-democracy groups and the government. The dialogues centered on finding solutions to ethnic issues and for

national reconciliation.

► 1989 & 1990: In the 1989 people’s protests as well as in the 1990 elections for a free and fair election process; and in the ongoing struggle for democracy, Htay Kywe was a proponent of these issues.

► July 15, 1991: Htay Kywe was arrested by the military government, from his home in Rangoon.

► December 30, 1991: He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

► May 26, 1999: Although on this date Htay Kywe’s prison term expired, the military regime continued to hold him under 10(a) of the State Protection Act 1975, at the Tharawaddy prison. While he was in the prison, he had stomach surgery in serious

condition as he had more than 100 stitches internal and external wounds. He was then released from Tharawaddy prison in October 2004.

► September 6, 2005: Htay Kywe is one of the co-founders of 88 Generation Students Group which is the leading student’s organization in Burma, calling Burmese regime to work toward political reconciliation with National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

► September 27, 2006: Htay Kywe, along with other students’ leaders, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, was taken from his residence by military officials until on January 11, 2007. He was not given any legal explanation of why he was kept for all these


► Aug 21 – October 12, 2007: After the crackdown of 88 Generation Students Group’s leaders on August 21, 2007, he was able to evade the arrest. While hiding from one place to another, he managed to organize the activities such as calling for SPDC to

move forward to the peaceful process of national reconciliation for the sake of future Burma, requesting the international community to stand clearly to prevent the egregious human rights abuses and violation, sending the letter to his Excellency of

United Nations to intervene the national reconciliation process. With the involvement of Buddhist monks taking on the street after the brutal crackdown of monks who are sharing the loving kindness and chanting the prayers for peace and freedom in the central part of Burma known as Pakkoku and SPDC authorities ignore the demands from the monks including to apologize for their wrongful acts or else they would strike for the boycott to the SPDC members as ex-communication to the Buddhism. Ko Htay Kywe worked together with monks and became one of the leaders for Supervising Committee for General Strike that was formed with nine leading pro-democracy organizations on September 27, 2007. Until his arrest, he continued to request the military regime for the peaceful resolution of Burma through the dialogue with opposition leader, Daw Aung Suu Kyi, ethic nationalities, and SPDC top leaders.

► October 13, 2007: He was arrested with 5 others at a hide-out. Five others are: Aung Thu (43-year-old; 9-year-old daughter; Thin Thin Aye (a) Mee Mee (35-yearold; two children – 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son; Zaw Htet Ko Ko (has

wife and one-year-old baby); Hein Htet (a) Aung Gyi (40-year-old; three children); and the house owner whose name unknown.)

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