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88 generation leaders transferred to remote prisons

Nov 17, 2008 (DVB), Nine leading members of the 88 Generation Students groups who were sentenced to 65 years' imprisonment last week have been transferred from Insein prison to remote facilities across Burma.

Twenty-three activists in total were jailed on 11 November for 65 years each , 60 years under the Electronics Law and five for a violation of the corrections department regulations.

The nine, who included Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, had been sent to Ma-ubin prison on 31 October but were then moved back to Insein prison on 15 November, four days after their sentences were passed down by Ma-ubin prison court.

Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi have now been sent to Keng Tung prison in Eastern Shan state, while Htay Kywe was transferred to Buthee Taung prison in Arakan state, Pyone Cho to Kaw Thaung prison in Tenasserim division and Mya Aye to Loi Kaw in Karenni state.

Aung Thu was sent to Putao prison in Kachin state along with activist Bo Bo Win Hlaing and seven others, Hla Myo Naing was transferred to Myitkyina prison in Kachin state and Myo Aye Naing was transferred to Kalay prison in Sagaing division.

One further unspecified member of the group was also transferred to an unknown location.

Before they were taken away from the court, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi spoke of their continued commitment to the pro-democracy movement.

"We don’t care about the jail sentences we have been given , we are ready to make even more sacrifices to free our people from the troubles they are suffering," said Min Ko Naing.

"Please don’t give up now as we are sure that we will reach our goal one day."

Ko Ko Gyi also said the prison sentences would not stop the group's work for national reconciliation and development.

"I’m putting aside all emotional feelings regarding on our situation now," he said.

"We have worked consistently to achieve national reconciliation and to transform our country into a peaceful and developed nation and we will keep doing our work with the same devotion."

Some commentators have speculated about the possible significance of the sentences, given that they were handed down on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and that the number of years given adds up to 11.

The Burmese ruling junta is known to be superstitious, and has previously been guided by auspicious dates and numbers.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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