88 student leader denounces government abuse of power

Sep 10, 2007 (DVB), High-level 88 generation student leader Ko Htay Kywe yesterday denounced the government for abuse of power and for failing to take sensible action to resolve political issues.

Ko Htay Kywe is the last remaining leader of the 88 generation student group to have avoided arrest by the ruling junta in last month’s detentions of high-profile activists involved in public protests against fuel price hikes. Ko Htay Kywe said in yesterday’s interview with DVB that the government has failed to offer any solutions to public dissatisfaction and is instead misusing its power in aggressive crackdowns on activists.

"We think the government is now trying to tell lies to people in order to put 88 generation students behind bars. . . They are so caught up in their abuse of power that they don't even realize what is going on with people in the country," said Ko Htay Kywe, who refused to disclose his location due to fear of being arrested by the government.

"Our country could have been in so much better shape if the government had taken a look into the future and resolved political issues."

An announcement made by Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council yesterday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper accused the 88 generation students of plotting to sabotage the newly-completed Nation Convention and claimed that 15 people had been taken into custody, mostly members of the 88 generation student group, including Min Ko Naing.

"[Those arrested] were sabotaging the National Convention and trying to create the dialogue they wanted and to contact foreign-based terrorist organizations in order to carry out terrorist destructive acts," said the SPDC announcement.

The announcement also held that Htay Kywe had avoided arrest because he had been "hidden at a secure place by an embassy of a powerful country".

Htay Kywe denied all the accusations made in the New Light of Myanmar and said the student group had always tried to seek peaceful solutions to political problems, but these efforts had been met with "open aggression" from the SPDC.

"We cannot find a solution when the government is going around pointing fingers and putting the blame on random people. We have tried to forget what has happened in the past and concentrate on how to shape our country’s future," said Htay Kywe.

"Neither the people of Burma nor the international community believes what [the SPDC] says. Now I’m being accused of accepting refuge from a foreign embassy. It is not true because I am still with the people."

Reporting by Moe Aye.

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