Former political prisoners want role in state building

Former political prisoners feel excluded from the state building process, according to the Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS).

Tin Maung Oo, the executive committee member of the FPPS, said on April 25: “Former political prisoners are now contributing to society as social workers. It’d be better if they can take part in politics - their sole purpose is to work for people.”

Htun Kyi, another member, said that former political prisoners were ready to work for the state but no once approached them and asked for their aid.

He added aid organisations sent an open letter to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi last June requesting an official definition of "political prisoner" but there was no reply.

The military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed in March that it had no plan to define the meanings of "political offences" and "political prisoners".

The FPPS and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners together with political parties agreed in August 2014 that anyone who was imprisoned for their political ideas and activities and for criticising the authorities was a political prisoner.

MP U Hla Saw said: “They were imprisoned for rising up against the dictators. But when they were released, they had no place in state building. It’s sad.”

The country currently has more than 7,000 former political prisoners, according to the FPPS.

 

Translated by Nay Thiha