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Poet flees to Thai-Burma border

Nov 28, 2007 (DVB), A Burmese poet facing a second trial for publishing politically sensitive material, despite having already been punished for the offence earlier this year, has fled to the Thai-Burma border.

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint was given a 30,000 kyat fine and served 12 days in prison for illegally circulating sensitive information after he distributed a small collection of 11 poems to mark Valentine's day, two of which mentioned independence hero general Aung San.

He was told in early November that he would be tried again for the same offence, and could face up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint, from Kyauk Se, Mandalay division, told DVB that he had left the country rather than face more time in prison.

"I decided to flee Burma because I don't want to spend time in jail and not be able to contribute to the movement," he said.

"I'd like to urge all people from the world of literature and all other people to continue with the movement, as it is the responsibility of everyone."

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint said he would able to do more writing in Thailand and plans to write more poems and distribute them inside Burma to educate people and encourage them to support the democratic movement.

He also hopes to strengthen communication between people inside Burma and outside to enable information to reach people in the country.

Over 100 people have fled Burma since the government's crackdown on demonstrations in September.

Reporting by Htet Yazar


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