Its a moment of remorse for many like me, believers in democracy , freedom and liberty. Win Tin is no more! Not only is this a loss for Asia, but for many who remain inspired by the legacy that he leaves behind,as a South African engaged in social and political activism, i take pride in my nation’s association with another man from Asia- Mahatma Gandhi, Win Tin was one among those who too followed his path and today leaves behind the legacy of freedom, determination and Strong will.
Born on the 12 March 1930; he was a Burmese journalist, politician and former political prisoner. He co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD). The military government imprisoned him for his writings and his leadership position in the NLD.
This great man stood for what he thought was right for his people; like Bantu Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement. Who was interrogated and tortured by the police for twenty-two hours, and later died; he died fighting the inequalities that black South Africans had to endure from the year 1948 – 1994.
Win Tin served 19 years of his life in a cold prison cell of Burma and even through that he never allowed intimidation to define him, he served in the struggle where he promoted the right to freedom of expression which seems to be highly violated by people in power.
He has fought his fight, and leave us the youth, what is it that we are doing to bring about change in our communities? The struggle must continue, as we cannot waste the legacy of this great man that stood for what he believed in.
Win Tin greatly believed in the future of his people, and the empowerment of young people. When he was released from prison, he created platforms for the youth to engage, and had regular round tables called ‘Youth and Future’.
Should we be grateful for the opportunities granted to us by the ordinary men and women, who through their love for humankind birthed extraordinary sacrifices?
The late Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, once said, “ Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual. We must construct that people- centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties and the human rights of all citizens.”
Furthermore Win Tin has proven that he would endure such pain for his people and strived fighting for equality, peace, justice, and freedom for the people of Burma.
Giants will fall however, not in vain as the struggle to inclusiveness; poverty eradication; freedom of expression as well as promoting human rights shall continue.
May his soul rest in peace, as the people of Burma and the world at large will always remember his ideology and determination to fight on. He has fought his battle, and has passed on the batons to us the Youth. Let’s rise up and fight adversities. Amandla! Aluta Continua
Nothemba Khanyile is a Media Studies Graduate from Boston Media House , who is most passionate about education and the empowerment of young people. She is currently an intern at ActionAid; and has been working closely with Mining Affected Communities.Furthermore, she is a dynamic self-motivated and critical young woman who has progressed through the challenges of life and never allowed hurdles to be her destiny.
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