Prominent activist monk faces legal action in Myanmar despite political reforms

February 19, 2012

(Shin Gambira, leader of the All-Burmese Monks Alliance, in Yangon January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)

Shin Gambira, a Myanmar monk jailed for his role in protests in 2007 and released in a January amnesty, faces action by the authorities because he has “repeatedly broken Buddhist monks’ code of conduct and the law”, state newspapers said on Sunday.

The reports accused him of rejoining the religious order without requesting authorisation after the January 13 amnesty, of being in the Magin Monastery, which has been sealed by the government, and breaking the locks of two other monasteries.

Monks from Magin, in the eastern suburbs of the main city of Yangon, were involved in opposition activity under the military regime that ruled Myanmar for almost 50 years until a nominally civilian government took over in March last year.

The civilian government, while full of former generals, has initiated a series of political and economic reforms at a speed that has taken the outside world by surprise, although some observers remain sceptical of its motives.

Shin Gambira, 33, was a leader of the Alliance of All Burma Buddhist Monks that led a peaceful protest known as the Saffron Revolution in 2007, which the military put down with force.

Read the full story by Aung Hla Tun here.
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