PORTRAITS: In name of change, Myanmar buries past
In this March 25, 2013 photo, San Zaw Htwe adjusts a portrait of Independence hero Gen. Aung San in his room in Yangon, Myanmar. The former political prisoner will turn 39 on Saturday, March 30, the second anniversary of the day President Thein Sein took office and pledged to transform Myanmar from a military dictatorship to a free-market democracy. Thein Sein's administration has made remarkable progress toward that goal, but at a price that San Zaw Htwe knows only too well: forgetting the past. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:00 am
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - The day San Zaw Htwe was arrested he tried to chew through the leg of the wooden chair he was shackled to. He could hear a river outside. He figured he could swim away and escape the little room and the big men and the terrible certainty of years in prison.
The former student activist holds up a bony finger. "There was only this much left," he says, breaking into a toothy smile at the memory of the chair leg. "They kicked me. My chair and I fell over." Then his interrogators shackled him to a log. He would serve 12 years for distributing anti-government leaflets.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:00 am.