Sittwe: A recently formed Arakanese political party issued a statement on the arrest of a historian monk in Arakan State on Monday, after authorities seized many precious ancient artifacts and relocated 100 orphans to undisclosed locations.
The information department of the Rakhine National Development Party issued the statement with a title of "Our opinion on the event of Mahamuni Buddhavihara" on 9 August.
A 20 - year - old student from Sittwe said, "Such a statement issued in Burma in the past would be very dangerous, but now the political party in Burma can do it in accordance with the law. It is the first ever statement in my life as I have never seen such a thing issued before by an Arakanese group inside Burma."
In the statement, the party expressed thanks to people who enthusiastically discussed with party leaders the issues of relocating the orphans and seizure of precious antiques.
The party stated that the ancient antiques that were seized by authorities are an invaluable part of Arakanese inheritance and should be placed in Arakan State in accordance with law so they may be displayed for visitors.
Moreover, the party said that the arrested monk Ashion Pyinya Sara should get the chance to face charges in court in accordance with the law of Burma because he is a citizen.
Party spokesperson U Khaing Pyi Soe said, "Our statement is concerned with several orphans from the monastery and the ancient antiques. We also have a duty to protecting the children and the valuable Arakanese artifacts. So we want to know how to protect the orphans and conserve the ancient antiques by ourselves. We issued the statement to offer Arakanese people the chance to do so together."
When they raided the orphanage on 27 July, the army authority 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 Ashion Pyinya Sara over the years.
After the raid, the authority forced nearly 100 orphans to move to Burma proper, including Rangoon and Mandalay.
According to local sources, the Arakanese people are angry with the authorities' seizure of the artifacts and relocation of the 100 orphans.
5 months ago