88 Gen leader Hla Myo Naung, passes away, aged 47

88 Gen leader Hla Myo Naung, passes away, aged 47

Prominent pro-democracy activist and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) member Hla Myo Naung passed away on the morning of 28 November at Thingangyun Hospital in Rangoon.

Hla Myo Naung, 47, died the day after he was admitted to the hospital with a severe liver condition.

Fellow activist and 88GPOS member Min Zayar said Hla Myo Naung had been chronically ill but his sudden death came unexpectedly.

“The main cause of Hla Myo Naing’s death was cirrhosis of the liver but he was also suffering from various other illnesses and it was already too late by the time he arrived at the hospital,” he said.

“He came to my house about a week before he was admitted to the hospital. We expected he would need to undergo long-term treatment. But now he’s gone.”

Hla Myo Naung was born in the town of Kyaukpadaung near Mandalay. He studied law at Rangoon University and participated in the 1988 student demonstrations, after which the activist was sentenced to five years in prison by the military regime which took power in 1989.

After being released from prison, Hla Myo Naung and other 88 Generation student leaders were sentenced to 65 years’ imprisonment for participating in demonstrations against the fuel price hikes, which preceded the so-called “Saffron Revolution” in 2007.

“Hla Myo Naung was a student leader who worked hand in hand with us since the student protests in March 1988. He was a longtime participant in the fight for democracy and the eradication of Burma’s military dictatorship. We will always remember Hla Myo Naung for his self-sacrifice and hard work,” said Min Zayar.

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In an interview with DVB, 88GPOS leader Mya Aye said, “Hla Myo Naung was with us since we were jailed in 1989, and together we made it through those difficult years.”

“Back then, his family was wealthy, but by the time he passed away Hla Myo Naung had no possessions whatsoever aside from his legacy as a self-sacrificing leader. I will always remember and respect him as a close friend, as well as a comrade.”

Hla Myo Naung’s funeral will be held on 30 November at the Yeway Cemetery in Rangoon.

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