Ludu Sein Win banned after political speech

Mar 20, 2008 (DVB), The work of renowned veteran Burmese journalist Ludu Sein Win has been unofficially banned by the government censor board from weekly journals and publications, said journalists in Rangoon.

A journalist in Rangoon said Weekly Eleven, News Watch and Ah Kwint Ah Lan journals, where Ludu Sein Win’s columns are regularly featured, were told by the censor boards not to publish his articles.

Though no official reason was given for the ban, it comes after a recorded voice message from the politically active writer, calling for people to rise up against the military rulers, was posted on the internet and gained public attention earlier this month.

"[The censor board] said publication of Ludu Sein Win’s articles has been suspended for the moment but as usual, they didn’t give any proper reason for that," said the journalist, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Even though there was no explanation given, people in the publishing world are saying it must be because of his speech which was spread on the internet."

In the speech, Ludu Sein Win said that despots will never willingly relinquish power and the Burmese people cannot waste time waiting for the United Nations to rescue them.

"The country is hurting; the people are suffering. We've endured this regime for nearly half a century. [Our struggle] ought to be brought to a swift end," he said.

"We already have the power necessary to defeat the regime. It's People Power. Nothing is more powerful than that."

Ludu Sein Win said the "Saffron Revolution" of last September had shown that monks, students and others had the courage to rise up against the authorities.

"Friends, this is the critical moment when the tide can turn," he said.

"The Saffron Revolution made this possible. Its momentum reached worldwide. We must make the most of this chance."

"Believe in the Burmese people’s heroism. Believe in People Power. Defeat the Despot with People Power."

Ludu Sein Win was unavailable to comment on the situation due to poor health.

When DVB called to speak to Ludu Sein Win, a family member said he was suffering from low oxygen level in his blood due to a malfunctioning of his oxygen tank caused by an electricity shortage at the house.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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