Family of Aung San's assassin threaten biographer with legal action

Mar 9, 2009 (DVB), A Burmese writer who wrote a book on Galon U Saw, mastermind of General Aung San's assassination, has been threatened with legal action by U Saw's family for publishing misleading information.

Veteran writer, Than Win Hlaing, who recently published 'The Last Days of Galon U Saw,' said he received a letter from U Saw's family demanding a published apology.

They allege that the book contains incorrect and misleading information about U Saw. They also claim that he failed to ask the family's permission to publish it.

"The letter demanded I publicly apologise to the family in newspapers for citing wrong information, which can lead to damage on his personal image," said Than Win Hlaing.

"According to the letter, I am about to be sued if I fail to apologise to the family within a given deadline."

Than Win Hlaing said that U Saw's family was disappointed by his claim that Baby Saw (also known as May Than Saw), the known daughter of U Saw, was not really his daughter.

He insisted the book was based on hard, factual evidence.

"U Saw had a first wife before he married Than Khin, mother of Baby Saw, who also had a previous marriage before him," he said.

"Baby Saw's birth date shows she was born in December 1932, but U Saw didn't get married with her mother until after he became a member of parliament in 1936."

Than Win Hlaing claimed that, even though his book came out as a commercial publication, it would barely make any profit as the Burmese book industry has been struggling under economic hardship for a long time.

"I didn't publish the book to get rich," he said. "Us writers get paid almost nothing in this industry."

"My motive was to provide necessary knowledge to our young generations under these political circumstances."

The Ministry of Information's Press Scrutiny and Registration Division had suspended Than Win Hlaing from publishing material.

Than Win Hlaing, also a well-known former political prisoner, had spent seven years in prison from 2000 to 2007 for republishing a biography on General Aung San, which had been approved for a release in 1997.

U Saw's family were not available for comment.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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