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Win Tin celebrates first birthday as a free man in 20 years

Mar 12, 2009 (DVB), Recently released National League for Democracy leader Win Tin is celebrating his birthday today for the first time as a free man in 20 years.

Win Tin turns 79 today, and will share his birthday with imprisoned NLD vice-chairman Tin Oo, who is 82, and 88 generation student leader Mya Aye, who is 43.

Win Tin said he has no plans to celebrate his birthday with a proper ceremony but hopes to mark it with a small dinner party.

"Be not afraid as it is the most important thing," said Win Tin. "Be not afraid of the army, the government, prison, court, police and the like.

"Be not afraid of anyone. As Daw Suu said, 'be afraid with your eyes open'. I also want to preach this," said Win Tin.

Tin Oo's son, Thant Zin Oo, spoke to DVB from Japan.

"It is an occasion for all political activists and colleagues to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, including U Tin Oo," he said.

Tin Oo was detained after the violent attacks on NLD members and supporters at Depayin, in upper Burma, on 30 May 2003.

He was briefly detained at Kalemyo jail in northwest Burma before being transferred to Rangoon and put under house arrest.

The daughter of Mya Aye, who is serving 65 years imprisonment in Karenni state's Loikaw prison, held a prayer service along with about 60 others in London yesterday to mark his birthday.

"This prayer is not only for my dad, but it also for the freedom of all the political prisoners and the people of Burma."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet and Naw Say Paw


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