Burma joy as freed prisoners head home

When Ko Ko Gyi arrived at Rangoon airport the crowd had been waiting several hours and rushed to greet him.

People almost jumped on him, shouting, cheering, thronging him, calling out his name.

Ko Ko Gyi is one of the best known of the 88 generation of student leaders, along with Min Ko Naing, the most famous.

Relatives, ordinary people, political activists, members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party had all gathered at Rangoon airport to wait for the freed prisoners.

The more prominent a student leader in Burma, the further away he or she is sent to prison.

I saw one woman student leader, Nilar Thein, who had been released from a district prison. She had been separated from her young daughter for more than four years. The reunion at the airport was tearful. Many people were choking with emotion.

This latest prisoner release is much more significant than previous ones.

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