Mandalar

The Mental Panic

Posted on: July 14, 2007

This article is from Shanland.org

Than Htay, 50, a Burmese political asylum seeker fears he will be deported. His application to stay in Australia has been rejected seven times by the Department of Immigration departments.

The Mental Panic
The main character of this feature story was granted a permanent resident visa after the article was published. The author, Sai Awn Tai, a journalism student in Australia, is not sure whether his article had something to do with it, but likes to think it had – Editor

By Sai Awn Tai
6/4/07

Than Htay, 50, a Burmese political asylum seeker fears he will be deported. His application to stay in Australia has been rejected seven times by the Department of Immigration departments.

Than Htay came to Sydney in 1996.

As a young man in Burma he was an active member of Student Union. The union supports democratic leader and Noble Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest since 2003.

He now fears that if he is forced to return his activist past will lead to his arrest by the Burmese military regime.

As far back as 1974 when he was still at high school he joined the uprising by the students at the Rangoon Technology University. They were protesting the failure of the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP) to honour the funeral of U Thant the former UN General Secretary.

Than also witnessed the killing of many students by the military regime during the nationwide uprising in 8-8-1988, in Burma.

“Many innocent students were shot in front me; most of them are young with no experience. They don’t know how to elude the gun shoots. Fortunately, I was able to escape” he said.

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