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Cablegate: Burmese Harassment Continues Past Death

VZCZCXRO4563
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGO #1196 2301416
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181416Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4991
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1078
RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA 0066
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9849
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0281
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 4295
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1758
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3484
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0477
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6946
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4564
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 0872
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0875
RUDKIA/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 0585
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2821
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0466
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS RANGOON 001196

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS; PACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECON PREL BM KHIV
SUBJECT: BURMESE HARASSMENT CONTINUES PAST DEATH


1. (U) On August 12, ex-political prisoner and NLD member Ko
Than Lwin died of complications related to HIV/AIDS. Ko Than
Lwin had contracted HIV/AIDS in jail after being arrested in
1998 and sentenced to 14 years in prison for distributing
copies of the opposition journal "New Era." He was released
in 2005. Ko Than Lwin died at a house in South Dagon,
Rangoon, where the NLD organizes HIV/AIDS education and helps
HIV infected patients.

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2. (U) When GOB authorities found out the NLD would hold a
traditional Buddhist wake the seventh day after Ko Than
Lwin's death, the local SPDC chief came to the house and
instructed Ko Than Lwin's family to invite only monks from
government-approved monasteries; told the family that no NLD
assistance could be accepted and the authorities would
prepare all food for the event -- which the family would then
be charged for; stated that no political activists could
attend; and insisted no one would be given permission to stay
over night at the house. The NLD has denounced the
restrictions as a violation of basic human rights. They also
charged that the restrictions run against basic Buddhist
principles of making funerals open to all.

3. (U) Post highlights this incident as an illustration of
the regime's absurd and cruel harassment of ex political
prisoners, their families, and members of the opposition.
They use every opportunity to disrupt every aspect of life,
including death.
VILLAROSA

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