October 18th marked the 40th birthday anniversary of student leader Min Ko Naing, a well-known political prisoner in Burma. Paw Oo Htun, his real name, is the third and only son of U Thet Nyunt and Daw Hla Kyi. In 1988, he was a 3rd year zoology student at Rangoon University where he started a secret anti-government movement with his closest friends, Ko Moe Thee Zun and Ko Thurein. During this time, he renamed himself "Min Ko Naing," meaning "Conqueror of Kings" in Burmese, and his group started to issue anti-government statements under the name of “All Burma Federation of Student Unions.” Together with other university students, Min Ko Naing took part in the 1988 people’s uprising and was arrested on March 23rd, 1989 by the Burmese military intelligence. He was detained in the notorious Insein Prison under section 10(a) of the State Protection Act. On December 17, 1991 he was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment with hard labor and was transferred to Sittwe Prison, 700 KM away from Rangoon. In 2001, Min Ko Naing was awarded the Student Peace Prize from Norway.
To learn more about Min Ko Naing, download and listen to U Aung Hla’s report with comments from Min Ko Naing’s closest friends, Ko Moe Thee Zun and Ko Thurein.