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Ma Mee Mee, a well-known 88 Generation activist, and a three-time political prisoner died on Monday night in a car collision while traveling back to Rangoon from Pathein.
Born Thin Thin Aye, the activist was killed when the vehicle hit a tree on the side of the road in Kyaunggon Township, Irrawaddy Division.
Four others were in the car with her, and three sustained serious injuries.
The group was returning from the funeral of poet Maung Aung Pwint’s wife in Pathein.
Ma Mee Mee began her political activism as a student during the 1988 uprising against the regime of General New Win. Arrested three times between that year and 2012, she shot to prominence when an image of her protesting in 2007 was circulated in international media. She was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to 65 years in prison but was freed during a presidential amnesty in 2012.
She had long championed the role of women in politics, urging women to embrace their capabilities and disregard gender stereotypes.
Hanny Oo, a former member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions and who was imprisoned with Ma Mee Mee, said the deceased was on the “frontline” of the country’s call for democracy.
In a condolence letter released by the National League for Democracy following the news, the party described her as “a comrade at the forefront of the country’s democracy movement” and said it was very saddened by her death.”
Ma Mee Mee leaves behind two children, and her funeral is scheduled for 2 pm at the Yayway Cemetery, North Okkalapa on Friday 17 August.