Min Ko Naing


Min Ko Naing
   (1962- )
   Nom de guerre of Paw Oo Htun, the most prominent student leader of the 1988 prodemocracy movement. It means "conqueror of kings." A zoology student at Rangoon (Yangon) University, he expressed his opposition to the government of Ne Win in the mid-1980s by organizing a than gyat or song-and-skit troupe during Thingyan, which satirized the regime and its corrupt practices. He gave a speech at the university's Main Campus on March 16, 1988, and participated in the demonstration that ended with the White Bridge Incident. A founder of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), he issued the proclamation announcing the Four Eights Movement, a general strike with the aim of forcing the resignation of Sein Lwin as president and chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party. Preferring to do political work in the capital rather than fleeing to the border after the State Law and Order Restoration Council seized power, Min Ko Naing was arrested on March 23, 1989, and sentenced to 20 years for subversion. Kept at Insein Jail under extremely harsh conditions, including torture and solitary confinement, he was later transferred to the prison in Sittwe (Sittway), Arakan (Rakhine) State. Although his sentence was reduced to ten years in 1993, he remained in confinement, suffering poor health, until released following an amnesty that was proclaimed after the purge of Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt in October 2004.
   See also Democracy Summer.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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