Burma needs change, not words: Min Ko Naing

Burma needs change, not words: Min Ko Naing

      Jan 12, 2007 (DVB)—88 Generation Students group leader Min Ko Naing told DVB in an interview after his release from prison yesterday that Burmese people needed more than empty political promises.
The well-known activist and former student leader said government slogans and statistics on development were not enough and that the public wanted real change.
“[The public] just wants a way out of all these various hardships. They want a change. They want to overcome this situation which is going no where with these political words,” Min Ko Naing said.
“We do understand that's the true will of our people . . . we vow here that we will continue working putting all physical and intellectual efforts we can,” he said.
Five members of the 88 Generation Students group—Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Htay Kywe, Min Zaya and Pyone Cho—were released by the Burmese military in the early hours of yesterday morning after more than three and-a-half months detention.
The five men were not charged and were released unconditionally, according to Ko Ko Gyi who told DVB in a separate interview that he was encouraged by the results of several political campaigns launched by the 88 Generation Students during his time in prison.
“The importance is, as those [campaigns] search for the peaceful ways where the public can peacefully join in politics, it’s the exact same attitude we all had, since before our detention,” Ko Ko Gyi said.
Min Ko Naing said he was “very satisfied” with the results from the recent Signature, Open Heart and Tuesday Prayer campaigns and said he felt deep appreciation for everyone who participated.
“We feel so happy to hear all those people and organizations from different places put in their effort . . . We would like to say we appreciate and thank their work,” he said.
Before they were arrested, the five men had been repeatedly accused by authorities of plotting terrorist attacks in Burma. All five had spent time in prison previously.
While analysts have said the men were clearly detained to stop them continuing their political activities, there has been some debate over whether internal or external political pressure led to their release.
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