Ethnic efforts not in vain: Harn Yawnghwe
|News – S.H.A.N.|
|Written by Hseng Khio Fah|
|Thursday, 11 December 2008|
| The recent award given to a detained Shan leader indicates that ethnic leaders are not forgotten and their dedication and their work are not in vain, according to Harn Yawnghwe, Director of the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office (EBO) and Advisor to the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC).
Khun Htun Oo, leader of the largest party in Shan State, sentenced to a 93-year jail sentence at Putao prison, Kachin State, was named the recipient of the Honorary Citizenship Award by Monza, a town in Italy near Milan on December 5. The ceremony was held on December 9 and the award was presented to Bodie Saw Min, Secretary of the EBO, on his behalf.
“This is how the world acknowledges our Shan leaders’ efforts. They never give up their ideals even though they have been imprisoned,” said Harn. “Our new generation must also be strong like them until democracy and genuine federalism are won whatever the dangers and difficulties are.”
Khun Htun Oo is President of the Burma’s second largest party Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD). He was arrested in 2005 together with Gen Hso Ten, leader of the ceasefire group Shan State Peace Council (SSPC), Sai Nood aka Sai Nyunt Lwin, SNLD General Secretary under several charges including defamation of the state, association with illegal parties and conspiracy against the state. All were separately imprisoned:
Maj-Gen Hso Ten 106 years Khamti prison
Khun Tun Oo’s brother, Sao Oo Kya, was also sentenced to 13 years in prison. He is serving his time in Mandalay.