On December 7th, I was fortunate enough to attend a symposium in Tokyo, organised by the Burma community here. The guests of honour were 88 Generation student leaders, Min Ko Naing and Ko Jimmy. Both these men have been instrumental players in the pro-democracy movement in Burma, and as a result, they have both suffered extremely lengthy periods in prison.
Their role in Burma’s future will be very important. Min Ko Naing is considered the most influential opposition leader in the country, after Aung San Suu Kyi.
A Burmese friend of mine arranged for me to chat with Ko Jimmy privately for a brief five minutes. Unsurprisingly, he informed me that the reforms had produced little change for the majority of the people in Burma, and that it was vital that amendments are made to the 2008 Constitution. He also reiterated his continued commitment to non-violent protest.
Photography by El-Branden Brazil, outside the National League For Democracy’s headquarters in Yangon, Burma.