SEPA: Message from U Win Tin
Message from U Win Tin
15 November 2008
The following is the transcript of a pre-recorded message by recently released Burmese journalist U Win Tin. The video was first shown during the 10th Anniversary Celebration of SEAPA on 8 November 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand.
To my fellow journalists in Southeast Asia: A speech by U Win Tin
It has been a long time I was ousted from my profession as I was jailed by the military regime for my activities in the fields of press freedom, democracy and human rights. I passed through two decades of imprisonment. Those are the gloomiest days for my long professional life.
During our long struggle many of my journalist comrades also were persecuted by the military regime along with all other political dissidents all over the country. Tens of my close colleagues, including famous journalist writer Maung Thaw Ka, perished in inhumanly tormented prison-camps. Some like me were released after suffering long years of languishing in the hellish prison cells. There are still many journalists and writers suffering untold miseries in the jails. Some of them might have gone incapacitated mentally as well as physically, or few of them might have been dead. We got very scant information about our comrades scattered all over the country in far out camps.
While we were behind bars, we were prohibited to write, to read, or for some even to talk to others.
We were put out of prison, but we were not being blinded. We had seen the light, however dim and scant at the end of the tunnel all the time. We saw the light in the form of news and messages. We made out all of them into news bulletin. Political prisoners as well as ordinary convicts were informed, encouraged and enlightened. Volatile political activities and protest deliberations resulted.
On my release from jail, political persecutions, economic exploitations, social discriminations, cultural disintegrations, human rights violations are found everywhere.
In these times, power and prestige of the press grew immense around the world. But it is not a universal reality. I learn few hard facts that many members of the press in Burma are still discriminated, persecuted and imprisoned. They are being sued and suppressed and even murdered in many countries in Southeast Asia, Asia, Africa, etc. all over the world. Unlike in all other countries, press men in Burma are pressured by repressive laws, and threatened with involvement in terrorism, official secrecy or national security matters.
These are the situations we still have to face today in Burma. We have to fight for democracy and free expression very hard. We still have to struggle for freedom of press and upholding of human rights. This is the struggle, we, all the journalists in Southeast Asia still continue to strive to the end.
I greet the 10th anniversary celebrations of Southeast Asian Press Alliance. It is a great moment of joy for all the free and independent journalists, especially fettered and oppressed journalists in Burma today.
Let us never forget the oneness of our common freedom of press struggle.
Long live Southeast Asian Press Alliance.