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Government frees two Mon political prisoners

Two New Mon State Party members serving life prison sentences were granted amnesty following negotiations between the group and the Burmese government.

Nai Yakkha and Nai Myo Thwe, who is also known as Nai Chaem Gakao, were arrested in July 2003 and initially sentenced to death after being charged with treason. The sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.

Following their release from Insein Prison in Rangoon yesterday, the two travelled to Mons state’s capital Moulmein with the government’s Peace Making Committee member Electric Power-1 Minister Zaw Min. Upon arrival they met with NMSP representatives, including the group’s chairman Nai Htaw Mon and Central Executive Committee member Nai Tala Nyi.

“After reaching a ceasefire agreement with the government, we asked for the release of our party members and other political prisoners, and they’ve responded now,” said Nai Tala Nyi. “We assume the amnesty was ordered by the president. This makes our peace building process more convenient.”

The Executive Committee member said Nai Yakkha and Nai Myo Thwe are both in good health.

Several Mon organisations have been calling for release of the prisoners for years. The two were greeted by their family and Mon cultural and literature groups when they arrived in Moulmein.

In March, the Karen National Union’s leading member Mahn Nyein Maung was released under a similar agreement following negotiations with the government.


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