Burma exiles take-up President Thein Sein’s invite to return home

One woman pro-democracy activist who took the Burma government’s invitation to return home seriously is Daw San Dar Win, a teacher, who works at Burma Migrant Education Department in the Thai border town of Mae Sot.

Daw San Dar Win said that she returned to Burma for family reasons and not because of political motivation.

“I contacted the Burma Embassy in Bangkok prior to my returning. The main reason of my returning is to be reunited with my family. At moment, I don’t want to comment on the political situation here or there. After I have returned to Burma, I will share my political feelings.”

Daw San Dar Win is the first Burma pro-democracy activist living and working in Mae Sot, to return home to Burma. She said she discussed with her colleagues before making the decision to return to her husband, U Myint Oo, who came to the border to collect her.

Daw San Dar Win worked in Mae Sot at a number of jobs – the officer-in-charge for the Committee for Protection and Promotion of Child Right (CPPCR), as secretary of the Burmese Migrant Teachers Association (BMTA) and as a teacher in Amay Eain and Hle Bee migrant schools.

Dr. Cynthia Maung, founder of Mae Tao Clinic, a close colleague of Daw San Dar Win, said that her friend went back to Burma because of the positive political changes in Burma.

“Before she went back, Daw San Dar Win told me that now that Daw Aung San Su Kyi is running in the election and because of the political developments in Burma – that’s why she went back.”

Daw San Dar Win before she left Burma in 2005 worked as the chairperson of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) Women Affair in Magwe Division. When she got to the border she worked in education for seven years.

Since Burma’s President U Thein Sein’s invited Burmese exiles to return, 15 pro-democracy activists based along Thai-Burma border have contacted the Burma Embassy in Bangkok and have since left to live in their country of birth either on a temporary or permanent basis.

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