Poet Kyi Aung dies

Mar 27, 2009 (DVB)-Renowned poet and active supporter of opposition party the National League for Democracy, Kyi Aung, died of heart disease at Mandalay general hospital today.

He was 72.

Kyi Aung won a national award for his collected poems ‘Latmin Tayar’ (One Hundred Moons) before he was banned from publishing by the military authorities for his pro-democracy stance.

"Kyi Aung is a renowned poet who wrote very good poems," his friend and fellow poet Maung Moe Thu said.

"He was not permitted to write poems because he bravely stood up for the good of the country," he added.

"His death is a great loss to the country, literature and art."

Author-in-exile Maung Swan Yi, who graduated with Aung Kyi from Mandalay University, said Kyi Aung was known for his sharp wit and active mind.

"He and Ko Lay [another Mandalay poet] were invited to recite their poems on important occasions every year by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," he said.

"That’s why he was banned," he said.

"But his poems will forever outlive the generals. We hope to erect a monument to his memory at Mandalay University one day."

Kyi Aung’s remains will be taken from Mandalay general hospital’s mortuary to Kyanikan cemetery on 29 March for burial.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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