Myanmar President Thein Sein proved that the new government is serious in implementing democratic reforms by releasing almost all political prisoners today. According to a news report by a government television channel, a total of 651 dissidents were released from detention.
The release of prominent political prisoners is cited as an important step towards the Myanmar democracy journey. Among those who were freed included 88 generation activists Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Mya Aye, Jimmy, and Ni Lar Thein, monk activist Ashin Gambira, the former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt and his sons, and the blogger Nay Phone Latt. Both local and exile news agencies have interviewed some of these well-known personalities after their release.
Khin Nyunt, the former prime minister, agrees [my] with Aung San Suu Kyi, the global democracy icon of Myanmar, that the recent decision of the government is a step in the right direction. Here's the report from the Eleven Media Group:
Current government is great. Because they have met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. And the efforts made by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, efforts made by the president, the efforts made by both of them would lead to the good future of the country, I think.
Thank you all, I have been in prison for about 20 years. But I am still quite healthy as you can see because of the love of the public. For the democracy that the public is hoping, we promise that we will carry on till we get to the target.
But Ni lar Thein also confirmed she hasn't signed any document for the release.
Many people around the country expressed their elation on social networks after the release was announced. Brownboy commented on the news update of Eleven Media Group :
Now people are happy inside & out. Appraising our Government… This is really tangible result that everyone can see..
Why they didn't do it the first place…?
Anyway, this is the moment we should celebrate…
Long live our People & Country!!!
KHZ1994, another commenter, expressed [my] his happiness :
I couldn't even go out for lunch. Because I am reading this news and the comments. Today is the day for the public with tears of happiness.
Myanmar netizens on Facebook posted status updates such as “Beautiful Friday 13″, “We are free”, “Thanks Mr. President” and “Today is a fairy tale” in reaction to the news. Some netizens even opined that substantial change will define Myanmar's immediate future.
Maung Maung San posted an artwork for the president saying:
That's a really bold move Mr. Thein Sein. I can see removal of sanctions and economic boom in a short future. A good friday the 13th.
TeZa Hlaing posted [my] his belief on facebook:
2012 is not the year the world would end but the year Myanmar would start.
SG_Lion mentioned [my] his thoughts on the country's future:
Let's try for our country to be able to stand proudly in the world by forgetting the past. Sanctions would be removed and Europe, US and international investments will improve in Myanmar. May the day when we can say “I'm Myanmar” proudly arrive very soon.
I have mentioned that they would be released. And now, they are free.