Sunday, 21 October 2012

Monk Escapes from Lantalang Prison

A 28-year-old Burmese Buddhist monk, Ashin Pannasiri, has successfully escaped from Lantalang Prison in Chin State and arrived in Delhi, India, after 13 days.
Ashin Pannasiri said he climbed over two barbwire fences at about 1 am on September 16, when two security guards slept.
“When I climbed the posts, my hands and legs were scraped by barbwire. It was very painful, but I didn’t care about that,” he said. “I only cared about my life.”
In the days following his escape, he traveled alone and was unsure where the roads led. He survived by eating vegetables and fruit.
“I ate fruit wherever I found it the jungle, and I drank water from streams,” he said.
The monk crossed into India at the Mizoram border. During the trip, he said he avoided local residents around Mizoram, fearing arrest and punishment.
“When they [local residents] saw me, they followed me,” he said. “I was afraid of them because I heard that strangers there can be killed or seriously punished if arrested.
Burmese authorities began searching for Ashin Pannasiri in late 2007 during the time of the civil uprising because of his close relationship with leading pro-democracy monks, including monk U Gambira, who is now in Insein Prison in Rangoon.
Ashin Pannasiri was affiliated with Yangon Monastery Maha Koe Su Taik in Pyigyitagun Township in Mandalay Division. When he learned he was wanted by authorities, he said he moved north to Monywa Township in Sagaing Division to escape arrest.
However, he was arrested on October 18, 2007, at an Internet shop in Monywa Township.
He said he was tortured by authorities, both physically and mentally, during interrogation.
“They [authorities] interrogated me from 18 through 20 October. They first asked me to stand up and squat repeatedly. They tied my hands behind my back and pushed and kicked me. They beat my face with an army boot when they asked each question.”
“Finally, I couldn’t control my mind, and there was no option for me. I thought about suicide,” he said.
On October 24, 2007, he was sent to Monywa Prison in Sagaing Division where he spent seven months. On January 18, 2008, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Authorities charged him with multiple offenses, including possession of illegal foreign currency.
In mid-May 2008, he was moved to Kale Prison in Sagaing Division where he spent a few weeks before being sent to Lantalang Prison.
On September 15, the day before he escaped from Lantalang, he was again questioned by authorities. He said that following the interrogation, he realized he would be sent back to Kale Prison with “double punishment,” convincing him he had no option but to try to escape.
Ashin Pannasiri is now staying with friends in Dehli. He said he plans to continue to struggle for freedom and peace in Burma while in exile.
“I want to urge all monks inside and outside Burma to fight against ah-dhamma (injustice) and maintain the dhamma (justice) policy,” he said.

pri/ et�%�}#em>

However, after almost two years of his release in 2004, Min Ko Naing, along with other four leading student leaders, was rearrested in late September of 2006. The other four arrested student leaders were Ko Ko Gyi, who was freed from prison in 2005, Htay Kywe, Min Zeya and Pyone Cho. Despite the military regime’s insistence that it was just taking these student leaders into detention for questioning, the authorities later confirmed the arrest of Min Ko Naing, as well as the other student leaders, stating that the five student leaders were held as a precaution against what the regime called internal commotion, instability and terrorism. After heavy criticism about the arrests and demands for his immediate release, the authorities released Min Ko Naing on January 11, 2007.


From 10 October 2006 to 18 October 2006 (his 44th Birthday), a nationwide campaign, “White Expression” was held to pressure the military government to release him and all of political prisoners. The rest 88 generation students (who were not arrested by junta at that time) organized the campaign. Participants wore white clothing in a show of support for the release of all political prisoners. The 88 generation students also organized the signature campaign to pressure the junta to release him and all political prisoners. It was started a week after Min Ko Naing and four colleagues were arrested. Many well-known artistes from Myanmar (such as Ludu Daw Amar and Zarganar) signed in the petition.
His 88 Generation Students group organized a campaign called “Open Heart Campaign”. It was launched on January 4, 2007, Independence Day of Myanmar. He said to the Irrawaddy Magazine that the campaign was to encourage the people to exercise freedom of expression. People could write to State Peace and Development Council leader senior general Than Shwe about their feelings under the military government.
He and his 88 Generation Students group conducted “White Sunday” campaign from 11 March 2007 to 20 May 2007 to express support to family members of political prisoners. They visited the families of political prisoners in Yangon (Rangoon) every Sunday during this period

Political imprisonment in 2007

He was arrested again around midnight on 21 August 2007, with other 13 leaders of the 88 Generation Students for organizing peaceful demonstrations. United States Government condemned the Burmese junta’s arrest of them.

International Awards Min Ko Naing has won international awards for his efforts, such as the Civil Courage Prize 2005, the Homo Homini Award by People in Need Foundation, the Student Peace Prize in 2001 and the John Humphrey Freedom Award in 1999.

Peace Now online

Popular Posts


Sat 10 Nov 2012
BABSEA 2nd Annual Access To Justice Public Interest Fair
"justify">Get information and help support local community-based organizations, build a network, and find out about job and volunteer opportunities at this fair showcasing the work of NGOs working in Southeast Asia.
Where: Kantary Hills Hotel, 44 Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 12, Chiang Mai
Time: 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Entrance: free

The Best Friend © 2012. All Rights Reserved | Simple Templates |Powered by Blogger. | Designed By Maung Thet