Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Member of RNDP Secretary Board Interrogated for Six Hours

Sittwe: A member of the secretary board for the recently approved Rakhine National Development Party was interrogated on Monday by military intelligence officers about two political papers that were seized from Ashion Pyinya Sara.

U Khaing Pyi Soe, a member of the secretary board of the RNDP, said, "The police officials brought me along with two of my pupils to Police Station No. 1 in Sittwe by motorbikes at 6:30 pm on Monday, saying they wanted to ask me some questions. When I arrived at the police station, the officials from military intelligence and the police department asked some questions about the two political papers."

The two political papers were found by military authorities in the library of Ashion Pyinya Sara when they raided the Maha Muni Buddha Vihara orphanage in suburban Sittwe to arrest the monk.

"They asked me several questions about the two papers, one was, 'When the slave term of Arakanese reached 226 years' and the other was titled, 'A comparison of the 2008 election'. They asked if I owned the papers but I denied that they belonged to me," U Khaing said.

U Khaing Pyi Soe and his pupils were released at 10:30 pm after six hours of interrogation at the police station.

U Khaing Pyi Soe is also a former central committee member of the Arakan Communist Party, and served 22 years in prison for involvement in an insurgency against the central Burmese government.

He became a member of the RNDP secretary board when the party was formed this year to contest in the election scheduled for later this year.

The military authority arrested Ashion Pyinya Sara, an Arakanese historian monk, on 27 July on allegations of many improprieties.

The army authority also seized many precious ancient antiques from the library of the orphanage, including ancient silver and gold Arakanese coins, Buddha statues, and palm-leaf inscriptions that had been collected by Asion Pyinya Sara over the years.

U Khaing said, "I had served as a volunteer teacher in the orphanage for a few years. The authorities thought the papers belonged to me, so they questioned me about them. Now I realize the arrest of Ashin Pyinya Sara was related to the breaking religious law but also politics."

U Pyinya Sara is still being detained at a police station and has not been brought before any court to face charges, despite one week having passed since his arrest.

Ashion Pyinya Sara is a respected historian who often revealed the history of Arakan through articles published in journals and magazines. The authority, however, sees this as behavior against the solidarity of the union.



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