Burmese blogger receives 20-years prison for poem about dictator

A blogger, a poet, and a lawyer from Burma (Myanmar) all received prison sentences for a poem that contained a hidden message criticizing Burmese dictator Senior General Than Shwe.
Mr Saw Wai’s poem, entitled ‘14th February’, was ostensibly a Valentine’s Day verse published last January in a popular weekly magazine. “You have to be in love truly, madly, deeply and then you can call it real love,” it read. “Millions of people who know how to love, please clap your hands of gilded gold and laugh out loud.”

But the first word of each line spelled out a pithier message about the leader of the country’s military government: “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe”. Mr Saw Wai was arrested the next day and charged with harming “public tranquility”.

Blogger jailed for 20 years over poem that mocked Burmese dictator


  1. Than Shwe and the other Burmese generals are on my list of people whose death I would not hesitate to cause, were I given power over their lives.

    Just sayin’.

  2. I am not sure I would be able to do anything physical to him, but when this monster dies I am going to be extremely happy.

  3. I was talking about the red-button scenario. You know, where if you press the red button some person or group of people will drop dead, and you have to decide whether you’d do it. (It assumes you know for sure what the red button does etc.)

    So my list is the ones I’d press the red button to eliminate. Not clear I’d actually throttle them with my bare hands.

  4. That’s why it’s a short list. The idea isn’t punishment, it’s to remove their evil from the world so that things can get better. Margaret Thatcher is NOT on the list, because while she’s plenty evil, she’s not an ongoing source of harm at this point.

  5. I hate to one-up someone on repression, but:

    Fourteen “88 Generation” activists in Burma have been given jail sentences of up to 65 years over their role in anti-government rallies last year…They were convicted of four counts of illegally using electronic media and given 15 years on each charge, plus five years for forming an illegal organisation – 65 years in total.


  6. Death? Why not a fate worse than death for these people, powerlessness and public mockery? Less bloody to laugh at powerless ex-tyrants…
    Blogger busted,
    And not to
    See the light of freedom and
    Truth for so long,
    Almost an age –
    Rage against the generals!
    Devils really,
    Spawn of the lowest Hell.

  7. A 20-year prison sentence for “disturbing the peace”? Well, now I know where I’M going for Spring Break ’09.

  8. In times of trouble, challenge or unrest,
    many choose the low road as their way.
    Perhaps subconsciously abandoning the best,
    essential nature we all share in better days.

    Anyone may stumble, trip and fall.
    Can we expect perfection in one man?
    Humility demands that we judge all
    good intentions fairly. Yet we can

    eaily forget that signs are there,
    obvious to see and to convey
    rigorous attention to the glare
    governing the laws we all obey.

    Each sign that sends another to a fall
    will sign our trust is misplaced overall.

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