By Independent Mon News Agency – Ko Min Zay Ya, an 88 generation student leader who was sentenced to long-term imprisonment in Lashio prison, was not told of his mother’s passing on May 27th in Mudon Township, Mon State.
“Even though the family members asked prison authorities to tell Ko Min Zay Ya that his mother passed away, they [the prison officers] responded that they could not tell this to Zay Ya,” said Min Zay Ya’s younger sister, Mi Nwet Nwet Yee, who is 50 years old.
“My brother [Aung Naing] called Lashio prison on the day my mother passed away. He asked permission for my brother [Min Zaya] to pay respects at my mother funeral.
The prison officer said no. Then, he expressed his condolences for his mother’s passing. They said to my brother [Aung Naing] that we do not communicate with political prisoners,” she added.
“Family members have taken videos and photos of the funeral ceremony for Min Zaya, who was unable to pay respect to his mother where they buried the ashes in a brick tomb at Karmarwet village cemetery,” Mi Nwet Nwet Yee continued.
“My brother [Zay Ya] was around when our father passed away. We did not make a brick tomb that time. Now, my brother was not here when our mother passed away and did not get a chance to pay respect. We made a brick tomb of our mother so that he can pay respect to her when he is released from his prison sentence,” cried Mi Nwet Nwet Yee.
Two detectives from Mudon Township and one from Rangoon came to observe the funeral ceremony and took photos according to the family.
Ko Min Zay Ya’s jail sentence is for 65 years and six months in Lashio Prison. His mother, Mi Chit Phvr, passed away on May 27th, at the age of 76, at 11:20 p.m in Kamarwet Village. She was cremated at the cemetery at 1 p.m. on May 29th.
The 88 Generation Students Group sent their condolences to Min Zaya’s family for the mother’s funeral.
It is estimated that around 3,000 people attended the funeral. Included at the ceremony were Min Zaya’s wife, Daw Cho Cho Win, members of pro-democracy groups, political party members, relatives and villagers.
Ko Min Zay Ya’s father’s name was Nai Ba Yin and the family included eight. Min Zaya was the third.
Mi Nwet Nwet Yee said, “Donations for our mother will be on May 3rd and 88 Generation Students Group members and 15 colleagues have already promised to come.”