Win Tin’s Foundations to Continue Supporting Political Prisoners

By The Irrawaddy 13 May 2014

RANGOON — A private foundation led by late democracy activist and journalist Win Tin to help political prisoners and their families will continue offering financial support as it did before, despite the founder’s death.

“We will keep giving cash donations to political prisoners as well as former ones and their families. We will keep it alive, as this was the late U Win Tin’s wish,” Tin Oo, patron of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party and chairman of the foundation, said during the 14th cash donation ceremony of the foundation on Monday. It was the first such ceremony to be held without Win Tin, who died on April 21 at the age of 84.

Founded in 2012, the Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation has given cash donations of more than 120 million kyats (US$120,000) to 63 current political prisoners as well as 363 former prisoners of conscience and media professionals who need financial support.

The foundation is mainly financed by Win Tin’s admirers at home and abroad. Win Tin also contributed what he could to the foundation, and he channeled the royalties from his books—ranging from his prison memoir to works of journalism and tomes on European art appreciation—to good causes.

During the ceremony on Monday, Aung Thein, the foundation’s consulting lawyer, said Win Tin granted all copyright permissions for his books, as well as audio and video recordings, to the foundation in 2012, requiring anyone who wants to use them to first seek permission.