Villager arrested for carrying Independence
A villager in Selan sub-township, Muse township, northern Shan State was arrested after he was found carrying a copy of SHAN’s monthly Independence newsletter through the Sino-Burma border checkpoint, according to sources from the border.
16 January 2009
On 6 January, Sai Awng Kham, 44, a villager from Ho Long village, was stopped by the Burmese military authorities near the border checkpoint Wan Hai, to show his motorcycle license. The authorities found a copy of the newsletter and his phone book with over 100 phone numbers.
On the following day, the authorities sent him to Lashio for further investigation on the newsletter, said a source.
The newsletter was featuring articles on politics, literature, opinion columns and human rights situation occurring in Shan State and Burma that is published by the Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN). SHAN does not know which issue of the newletter Sai Awng Kham was carrying, or the specific content. “The newsletter had to be earlier that December 2008 because than month’s issue was yet to be distributed,” said the deputy editor Hsengzeun aka U Sein Kyi.
On 14 January, a week after arresting Sai Awng Kham, the authorities arrested three more people from Nawng Khang and Kawng Wiang. On the next day, one more undefined villager from another village was arrested, said local sources.
Locals are wondering that whether the arrests were related to his phone book or the newsletter, said the source.
Over ten years ago, there were two readers from Tachilek, eastern Shan State and Muse, northern Shan State who were arrested for having in possession the Independence newsletter, according to Khuensai Jaiyen, editor in chief of SHAN. The two ended up in jail.