Myanmar poet arrested
Jan 25,2008 00:00 by UPI

YONGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military junta has reportedly arrested a noted poet for a love verse that allegedly contained a hidden message against the junta's leader.

Saw Wai was arrested for his eight-line poem on Valentine's Day, Britain's Guardian reported.

When the poem was read vertically, the first word of each line reportedly described junta leader, Gen. Than Shwe as "power-crazed." Other translations of the lines came up with such words as "foolish with power" and "megalomaniac," the report said.

The general is known for his intolerance of such descriptions or criticisms, the report said. Myanmar was formerly known as Burma.

The poem was published in this week's edition of a magazine which quickly sold out, the report said.

Saw Wai is also the leader of a group of artists who care for AIDS orphans.

Similar arrests of artists were made last September during the pro-democracy demonstrations which were brutally put down by the junta's security forces.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.