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    » 12/16/2011, 00.00

    MYANMAR

    Struggle for Democracy, Burmese monk risks expulsion from the order



    Ashin Pyinna Thiha branded as "disobedient" by the official committee close to the Burmese government. He supported the opposition movement, organized meetings and discussions, called for "national unity". Yesterday 300 supporters demonstrated outside the gates of the place of worship.
    Yangon (AsiaNews) - The official Burmese Buddhist monastic order, supported by the central government, has branded as "disobedient" Ashin Pyinna Thiha and threatens to reduce him to the lay state. He is charged with being guilty of having actively supported the democratic movement in the country, the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and of having turned the monastery into a center of political demonstrations. The news of the potential "humiliation" of the Monk has swept Yangon, raising a wave of protest from residents who yesterday gathered at the gates to show their solidarity.

    In recent months, Ashin Pyinna Thiha, from the monastery of Sadhu pariyatti in Kyeemyindine, Yangon, had organized several meetings of a political nature, appreciated and well attended by foreign diplomats. Recently he has also participated in a major celebration for 20th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Aung San Suu Kyi and a speech at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Mandalay, calling for "national unity" and end "of injustice."

    The NLD intervention dates to last September, but only a few days ago a video was circulated in which he reports that the State Committee Sangha - the Buddhist authorities close to the Burmese authorities - forbids him to hold public meetings because of his anti-government positions. The 47 members of the Committee believe that Ashin Pyinna Thiha has violated the rules of the monastic community and should be removed from the order.

    At the moment he is still a guest of the monastery in Yangon, outside the building yesterday a crowd of 300 supporters of the monk rallied, including some NLD leaders, in support of Ashin Pyinna Thiha and to protest against the possibility of his removal.

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    See also

    15/06/2009 MYANMAR
    Burmese Buddhist monk: everyone in Myanmar wants Aung San Su Kyi and democracy
    Tales of the tragic poverty in which the nation’s people are forced to live, despite the country’s vast wealth. Obsolete health services, malnutrition, rising mortality and a lack of basic education contributes to making poverty a chronic problem. Of Aung San Su Kyi he says: “She is the salvation of our people”.

    05/03/2010 MYANMAR
    In the race for an Oscar: Burma VJ, reporting on the revolt of the monks
    In the race for an Oscar: Burma VJ, reporting on the revolt of the monks. Written and directed by a Danish director, collecting films, testimonies and dialogues captured by an "army" of reporters who work with Democratic Voice of Burma. It is in the running for the "Best Documentary". The Oscars will be awarded on 7 March.

    28/09/2010 SRI LANKA
    Third anniversary of Buddhist monk massacre in Myanmar commemorated
    Politicians, human rights activists and religious leaders took part in a peaceful sit-in in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Colombo yesterday. They called on the world not to forget, highlighting the difficulties democracy encounters in Sri Lanka itself.

    24/06/2010 MYANMAR
    Myanmar’s election (farce) continues; "silent" party rallies
    Electoral Commission decrees as much in a 14-point directive. songs, slogans, banners and marches illegal, in order not to "tarnish" the country's image. Iron fist against the "political use of religion" to block other street riots. Buddhist Monk sentenced to seven years in prison.

    19/09/2008 MYANMAR
    A year since monks’ protests were crushed nothing has changed
    On 18 September 2007 tens of thousands of monks launched a peaceful protest against the country’s ruling junta only to see it crush in a bloody crackdown. Cities and monasteries are currently under tight control to prevent any commemoration. Junta gets richer as the population grows hungrier by the day whilst the world looks on, indifferent.



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