1. 2.

“When the music is out of time, the rhythm is destroyed. When the timing isn’t right, the flavor of the curry is destroyed. In politics, when the timing is wrong, the image of the whole country is destroyed. The timing in politics is to do the right thing at the right time.”

 My friend Win Maw, a musician and video journalist, said this to his daughter Khin Suu Kyi. On January 5th she quoted him in an open letter to Thein Sein, the president of Burma, asking for his release from prison.

In 1981 Win Maw entered the music industry as the lead guitar player and band leader of Shwe Thansin (Golden Melody). When Golden Melody was banned from the airwaves he became the leader of the band A-Lin-Kar. On November 18, 1996, during a touristic campaign that the government called “Visit Myanmar Year,” Win Maw was arrested by the military government. He was sentenced to six years in prison for writing songs in support of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.


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“ဂီတမွာ Timing ဟာအသက္ပဲ၊ အေရးႀကီးဆံုးပဲ။ Timing လြဲသြားရင္ ေတးသြား သီခ်င္းရဲ႕အရသာပ်က္သြားေရာ။ ထို႔အတူဘဲ ဟင္းခ်က္ရာမွာပဲျဖစ္ျဖစ္၊ အားကစား လုပ္ရာမွာပဲျဖစ္ျဖစ္ Timing မွန္ဖို႔လိုအပ္တယ္။ သီခ်င္းတစ္ပုဒ္ ဟင္းတစ္ခြက္ Timing Out သြားရင္ သီခ်င္း ေလာက္ ဟင္းေလာက္ပဲအရသာပ်က္မွာ၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရး မွာ Timing လြဲသြားရင္ တိုင္းျပည္တခုလံုးရဲ႕ Image ပ်က္တယ္။ တစ္မ်ဳိးသားလံုးထိခိုက္ နစ္နာေစတယ္။ ႏိုင္ငံေရးမွာ Timing ဆိုတာ လုပ္သင့္လုပ္ထိုက္တာကို လုပ္သင့္တဲ့ အခ်ိန္မွာ လုပ္ျခင္းပါပဲ။” ဒီစကားကိုေျပာခဲ့သူက က်မသူငယ္ခ်င္း ဂီတသမား၊ ဗီဒီယို ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္စ္ ကို၀င္းေမာ္ ပါ။

ဒီစကားကို သူက သူ႔သမီးကိုေျပာခဲ့တာပါ။ သူ႔ရဲ႕သားသမီး ၄ ေယာက္ထဲက တတိယ သမီး ခင္စုၾကည္ ၂၀၁၂ ဇန္န၀ါရီလ ၈ ရက္ေန႔မွာေရးခဲ့တဲ့ သမၼတႀကီးသို႔အိတ္ဖြင့္ေပး စာမွာ သူမဖခင္ရဲ႕အဲဒီေျပာစကားကို ေဖာ္ျပခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီစကားကပဲကို၀င္းေမာ္ရဲ႕ ႏိုင္ငံ နဲ႔ ဂီတအေပၚထားရွိတဲ့ ေလးနက္မႈကိုေတြ႕ႏိုင္ပါတယ္။ ကို၀င္းေမာ္ဟာ ဂစ္တာသမား အျဖစ္နဲ႔ ၁၉၈၁ ကတည္းက ဂီတနယ္ထဲကိုေရာက္ရွိခဲ့သူပါ။ ေရႊသံစဥ္နဲ႔ အလကၤာေတးဂီတအဖြဲ႕ေတြမွာ Lead Guitar တီးခတ္တဲ့ ဂီတ မွဴး၊ တီး၀ိုင္းေခါင္းေဆာင္တဦးျဖစ္ပါတယ္ ။ The Aces ေတးဂီတအဖြဲ႕ႀကီးမွာ လည္း ၁၉၈၉ ကေန ၁၉၉၆ ထိ ၇ ႏွစ္တိတိ Lead Guitar တီးခတ္ခဲ့ပါ တယ္။ 


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အနာ

တိုက္တိုက္ဆိုင္ဆိုင္
ဘ၀ကိုအညည္းေငြ႕ဆံုးကာလမွာ
ဘ၀အတြက္
အားတက္ဖြယ္အေကာင္းဆံုးသတင္းကိုၾကားရတယ္။


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                                                               Illustrated by Than Htay Maung
 
What a surprise!
The most cheerful tiding hit me
In the most cheerless hour of life.   
 
I should have been there on the shoulder of the road.
I should have been waving them my welcome.
They haven’t heeded the void of my existence.  
They have returned.
 
With the zeal of a possessed clairvoyant, 
A lane into the future has been rebuilt.
Their strength glitters into gold. 
They harden into diamonds,  
As my chaotic heart is being clamped.  
Now I will douse my clay laughter in my tears.
I will turn it into fragile earthenware.  
I will color it with hope.  What else could I do?  
Why do I bother? 
 
What they do every day, 
I don’t do it once in a lifetime.  
I call it ‘the gap…’ between us.  
So, they are the saints, who have 
Walked through multilayered walls.  
I am the sinner imprisoned in the outer space, 
Burning in my own ignoramus fire.
 
Here is my tour de force;  
The anxious wait I’ve been waiting 
After I dialed that number,  
The sum of the math figures I despise.
 
From the other side of the universe 
Like lint that floats in the air 
A charm flows into the tiny steel wire
The knife that has cut a chunk out of my chest commands, 
‘Come back home.’
 
Blood oozes out of my wound.
I sponge it up.
I don’t want to be left bleeding to die.
 
Whatever form I may take 
I need to keep my blood flowing 
So I can keep making attempts…
 
Everyone heads for the last line
Before I get there,
I wish I could dash into the home one more time
To fill their lane with my little pebbles.
To plant cobra’s saffrons in my earthenware.
 
http://www.warscapes.com/poetry/wound
May 2012
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                                         Illustrated by Than Htay Maung

အရိုးထိေအာင္ေအးေသာညဥ့္ေလထုဒါဏ္ကိုပခံုးႀကံဳ႕ေကြးရင္းလက္သီးတင္းတင္းဆုတ္ရင္းႏွင့္သူတို႔က ျမစ္ဟုေခၚေသာေရစီးေၾကာင္းတခုေဘးတြင္ က်မမိုက္မိုက္ ကမ္းကမ္းႏွင့္မတုန္မလႈပ္ထိုင္ေနမိသည္။ တဆတ္ဆတ္ ရိုက္ေနေသာသြားမ်ားကို လည္းၿငိမ္သက္ေအာင္ အံကိုတင္းတင္း ႀကိတ္ကာကြယ္ရ 
ေသးသည္။

က်မထိုင္ေနေသာ ေက်ာက္သားခံုျဖဴကေလးသည္ခပ္ေနာက္ေနာက္ေရခဲတံုးတတံုးလိုျဖဴေဖြးေအးစက္ 
ေနသည္။ ျမစ္ကိုတိုက္ခတ္လာေသာေလကအကာအကြယ္မဲ့ေသာမ်က္ႏွာႏွင့္လည္ပင္းမ်ားကို တိုးေ၀ွ႔ လာေသာအခါ ၾကက္သည္းေတြျဖန္းျဖန္းထရသည္။

က်မေရွ႕တည့္တည့္ရွိေရစီးျငင္သာေသာအိုင္အို၀ါျမစ္သည္ က်မငယ္ငယ္ကေနထိုင္ ႀကီးျပင္းခဲ့ေသာ ေက်းလက္ေျခတံရွည္အိမ္ကေလး၏ေနာက္ေဖးရွိေခ်ာင္းႏွင့္အရြယ္တူေလာက္ရွိသည္။ က်ီေလာင္ေလာင္ ျမစ္ေရကေတာ့ ေခ်ာင္းကေလးထဲမွာေႏြရာသီစီး ဆင္းေသာအင္းေရႏွင့္တူသည္။ ေခ်ာင္းနံေဘးမွာ လယ္ကြင္းေတြ၊ငရုတ္ခင္းေတြ၊ ေနၾကာ ခင္းေတြရွိသည္။ အဲဒီစိုက္ ခင္းေတြထဲမွာအလုပ္လုပ္ေနၾကသူ 
ေတြက က်မ၏ သူငယ္ခ်င္းေတြ။ ေႏြရာသီေက်ာင္းပိတ္ရက္ဆို က်မတို႔ညီအမလည္းငရုတ္သီးခူး ထြက္ရသည္။
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Khet Mar (translated from the Burmese by Ko Ko Thett)

Below is the author’s personal account of a student book club in Rangoon, where she taught student union leaders who would later be imprisoned for their political views. Her account also details their January 13 release from prison under a general amnesty and a reunion with of some of the club’s members via telephone.

2007 Generation Student Union Members with Student Union Flag. 
Photo: Lapyae Way

This past January 12 put me on edge. My restlessness had nothing to do with my birthday, or its falling on Friday the 13th. Instead it had everything to do with the fate of my friends in Burma. That evening the Burmese diaspora had been stirred up by some news: Thein Sein’s government had just declared an amnesty regarding the release of 651 prisoners under the Criminal Procedure Act, effective January 13. It was the new Burmese government’s fourth large-scale clemency in eight months.
As Rangoon is twelve hours ahead of Pittsburgh, I decided to wait for the unbolting of Burma’s prison doors at my desk, starting at 7 p.m. It was a tense wait. How many prisoners of conscience would be released this time? Who would they be? Burmese social networking pages were awash with predictions and rumors. Our status messages reflected the mood of the day. The little green lights on my address book said the whole Burmese community I know in the West was online and sleepless that night—like myself.
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၁၉၉၅ ခုႏွစ္တုန္းက ဆရာမင္းသု၀ဏ္ၿခံထဲကထမနဲပြဲမွာ ဆရာဒဂုန္တာရာ၊ ဆရာေမာင္စြမ္းရည္၊ ဘဘဦးမိုးသူ၊ ဦးလိႈင္(သုခမိန္လိႈင္) ဆရာဒဂုန္တာရာ့ေျမးေဒ၀ီကေလးနဲ႔က်မ အမွတ္တရ

စက္တင္ဘာလထဲမွာ မာမားဆီကအီးေမးလ္တစ္ေစာင္ရပါတယ္။ ‘သားငယ္နဲ႔ဖုန္းေျပာရတယ္။ ဦးရဲ႕ အဆူမခံရတာၾကာၿပီ။ အဆူခံခ်င္ေသးတယ္လို႔ သားငယ္ကို ခက္မာကေျပာတယ္လို႔ျပန္ေျပာျပတယ္။ ဦးကလည္းေျပာတယ္။ 'သူ႔ကို ငါကစိတ္ပူလို႔ဆူေနရတာတဲ့’။ အဲဒီေမးလ္ေလးကိုဖတ္ၿပီးက်မမ်က္ရည္ လည္ခဲ့ရပါ တယ္။ အီးေမးလ္စာမ်က္ႏွာကိုဖြင့္ၿပီးစာျပန္ဖို႔လုပ္ရင္း ဘယ္လိုျပန္ရင္ေကာင္းမလဲ စဥ္းစားရာကေန အေတြးေတြကအတိတ္ကိုေရာက္သြားေတာ့ ညလည္ေခါင္ႀကီးမွာ တေယာက္ထဲ ရယ္လိုက္၊ မ်က္ရည္က်လိုက္နဲ႔တမ္းတရင္းရွင္သန္ရတဲ့ လူလတ္ပိုင္း ကာလရဲ႕ အရသာကို အျပည့္အ၀ ခံစားလိုက္တာစာေတာင္မျပန္ျဖစ္ေတာ့ပါဘူး။ ဒါနဲ႔ေနာက္ေန႔မွေအးေအးေဆးေဆးေဆြးေဆြးေျမ့ေျမ့နဲ႔ စာရွည္ရွည္ျပန္ေရးေတာ့မယ္ ဆိုၿပီးေတးထားလိုက္ပါတယ္။
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