Journalist and family leave Cambodia for United States

Maung Maung Kyaw Win and family arrive in Chicago

Win and his family get ready to go to Phnom Penh's
airport en route for a new life in the United States.

Burmese journalist Maung Maung Kyaw Win and his family get ready to go to Phnom Penh's airport en route for a new life in the United States.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, March 12 (UNHCR) – Burmese journalist Maung Maung Kyaw Win will soon be able to write freely after years of working under a pseudonym and facing persecution in his native Myanmar.
Kyaw Win and his family flew out of Phnom Penh's Pochentong Airport on Monday bound for Chicago and a new life in the United States, which accepted him for resettlement after referral by UNHCR and where his sister lives.
Before his departure, Kyaw Win said he had mixed feelings about heading off to the US after almost a year in Cambodia. "I will feel safe to live in a land of peace and prosperity, but I know I will have to struggle to build up my new life. I have to leave my country and relatives so I feel very sad," he said.
"I need to have a job for our living. My sister said not to worry about food and accommodation, but one day we have to live alone with my family again and I will have to have a job," noted Kyaw Win, while adding that he relished the opportunity of practising his craft without the fear of censorship or persecution.
"Maybe I can work for dissident-run media or help the [New York-based] Committee to Protect Journalists or other organisations with Burmese cases. Maybe there will be more journalists in the coming years with problems."
But the 58-year-old said one of his first projects would be a book about his long struggle for democracy. Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch awarded him a Hellman/Hammet grant for his courage in the face of political persecution.
Kyaw Win fled Myanmar in December 2005, soon followed by his wife and daughter, the couple's only child. The family came overland to Cambodia in April last year and registered with the UNHCR office in Phnom Penh.
Originally from Shan state, Kyaw Win has lived most of his life in the Myanmar capital of Yangon. As a student, he spent 18 months in detention after attending demonstrations on the campus of Rangoon University.
He became a journalist, working in the 1980s for the state-run Guardian Daily newspaper. He has written many short stories under pseudonyms, some about corruption in the government. He has also translated foreign works into Burmese, including in 1990 a book by Swedish reporter Bertil Lintner on events leading up the military's 1988 crackdown on Myanmar's pro-democracy movement.
In 1996, Kyaw Win launched Miscellaneous, but the monthly magazine on politics and economics was banned after two issues. His monthly commentaries are published on the website of the Democratic Voice of Burma, a non-profit Myanmar media organisation, and in Burma Digest, a biweekly online journal. Before he left Myanmar, he worked for the economic magazine Myanmar Dana.
Kyaw Win said he decided to flee after receiving death threats, allegedly from military officials. He had arranged and interpreted at a meeting between an American journalist and a Burmese student leader who had spent 14 years in prison because of his political activities.
The veteran Burmese journalist has received a lot of support from overseas. "The intimidation and harassment of our colleague Maung Maung Kyaw Win is the latest unfortunate episode of a brutal campaign against Burma's journalists," the Committee to Protect Journalists said last year.
Meanwhile, Kyaw Win will use the US$2,000 Hellman/Hammet grant to help his family get started in the United States. "We came to Cambodia with only some clothes. We might need to buy some blankets and necessary things," he said.
Kyaw Win also wants to take up painting again. "I had not done it in years. I bought paint and brushes here in Cambodia because it is cheaper than in the United States. I will bring the two paintings I have made in Cambodia." A chip off the old block, his 20-year-old daughter wants to study journalism.
But Kyaw Win's priority is to write his book on democracy. "In my mind I have a story. In my country, I could not write so I want to write a book about my struggle for democracy. I will ask help from my journalist friends, that is my intention. Before I die, I must leave a book about what I have done in my life."

(By Inge Sturkenboom in Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Dear all who love democracy,As our country has been raped and ruled by a military junta for more than four decades, let us find ways and means to help support in getting rid of the military butchers. As for me I have been with the struggle since sixteen years ago and have participated in many activities in support of the struggle for Democracy. Now I am exiled in another country and continue my activities in a peaceful way. Please join me and let's find a way to completely remove the unwanted military regime from Burma.Min Myo Naing,
Co-translator of "Outrage" by Bertil Lintner

Min Myo Naing (holding Outrage) was seen posing for a photograph taken by a photo journalist from Committee to Protect Journalists (New York). On the right of Min Myo Naing were Karen Phillip (CPJ) and Jasmine (daughter of Min Myo Naing). On the left of Min Myo Naing was Daw Aye Myint (wife of Min Myo Naing).           



  1. Yes, this is time to start for another uprising. I know very well about the situation of Burma. People should not afraid to take to street like in 8888. This time the military butchers dare not spray their bullets into the crowds like before because they know they have been watched by the UN, US and world communities. Now they are watching their steps because they know one false step means death to the entire gang.
    So please speak out loudly what you are suffering and think deeply why you are suffering. Only then you will come to find a solution and you will understand what you need to do.
    People of Burma Unite!
    Fight for your Freedom!
    Down with military regime in Burma!
    Hla Htay
    In the land of aliens

  2. "Shwemyo paukphaw". The translation of this term means "Chinese, our relative" in Burmese language. Under the influence of China the poor country experienced a turmoil during the era of Cultural Revolution in mainland China.So many Burmese patriots were misled by China and ended up with ideology clashes that eventually killing each other in the jungle where they had taken refuge to uprise the military government of Burma. The tricky Chinese supported Communist Party of Burma in the very beginning with the intention of upgrading Internationalism meaning to control branches of Chinese Communist Party elsewhere in the world. When CPB is crumbled down in Burma China has indulged Wa Army, an ethnics of Burma who first fighting the military government and later colloborated with the Burmese junta. Under the pretext of reformation China has strengthen its ties with the military government (later generation of Ne Win Govt.)and enjoy benefit that gains from the military government. China not only support the military regime but also sells arms (cheap ones)to her intimated neighbour.Thus, the unwanted rulers of Burma continue to survive in the light of people's struggle for Democracy in the country. China give words to Burmese junta that she will always behind the junta and has given military training to a number of Burmese military officers in China. Now China can easily set up her naval base in one of the islands of Burma. A big portion of areas inside Burma has become part of China after Sino-Burmese demarcation accord had being signed between the two countries. Whatever the Big Brother decides Little Brother has to accept as the latter owes enormous gratitude to the former. When the new Thai ruler has insisted Burma to return the loans granted in the time of Thaksin Govt., China announced the world that the interests and the loans given to Burma has been waived and extended new loans with little interest to her little brother. China is ready to help anything for the military junta of Burma. And she is ready to use veto power if the UNSC takes action on Burma’s junta for killing and raping fellow countrymen, staying in power without the will of majority people and above all for not respecting to the NLD Party that has won nationwide elections in 1990. China is, afterall, backing Burma's military regime for her own benefit and gradual by gradual swallowing her neighbouring country like a giant snake. Can the United States that is the champion of Democracy drag out the Chinese prey before the snake totally swallowed it? We have to wait and see. The problem is poor people of Burma has been waiting a changes in their country for more than four decades. And STILL HOPING THAT A SUPER POWER WILL COME AND RESCUE THEM.(Contributed by a close friend who is in the same journey, same boat with MMN)

  3. The military regime of Burma has added another disgrace on itself by painting more unpleasant picture of their own. In the same time, the junta seems to have a big regret for inviting a team of reporters from Al Jazeera English, based in Kuala Lumpur.

    Mission accomplished for the reporters whereas the junta really disappointed that their wish did not come true.

    "We asked to go in, and some months later they eventually agreed. To them, Al Jazeera English is an unknown entity. But they were hoping for a hearing an avenue to get their view across," said Derl McCrudden, news editor of Al Jazeera English.

    Once arrival in Rangoon, the team of journalist was taken to the new city in Pyinmana area where they were allowed to interview with the Information Minister of the junta.

    When the reporters arrived back home they begun to write about the true picture of Burma they have seen. And, without fail, they illustrated how the people suffer under the harsh military rule.

    Though the team was prevented by the authorities to film numerous time and they were prohibited from meeting anyone in their own, they were indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to report from the country about the real situation of Burma.

    "One Golden rule of journalism is to be true yourself," said the news editor of Al Jazeera English.

    I give a big salute to the courageous and true journalists of Al Jazeera English who also managed to meet people and take photo of the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi' s house in the mid of restrictions put on them by the authorities in Rangoon.


What they suggest

What they suggest
Copy from Yahoo Page

Best Answer

First, through a concerted, non-violent protest by all citizens of the country at home and international fora. If it is responded by repression and harsher measures, then, through an armed revolution. Such moves are sure to be supported by all democratic and peace loving countries of the world. (modest)

(The question for above answer was asked by Min Myo Naing using another name in June of 2006.)


My photo
An exiled journalist from Burma, I have taken refuge in the United States with my family thanks to CPJ in New York, UNHCR (Cambodia) and the States Department. I was detained for one and a half year in 1969 for burning effigy of the late dictator Ne Win in the Rangoon University campus during SEA Games Strike. I was also actively participated in 8888 nationwide uprising by taking charge in publishing The Guardian Daily as independent newspaper for 22 days before I resigned from the newspaper as Assistant Editor in September,1988. Fortunately, I was escaped from arresting by the military regime. In 1990, I left for Bangkok where I had an assignment to translate the "Outrage: Burma's Struggle for Democracy". The book was originally written by Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist. I fled my country in December 2005 after my life was threatened by the military intelligence service for involving in political movements and had given assistance to foreign journalists who came to Burma. I am still active with the movement for restoring democracy in Burma.