Saturday, September 4, 2010

Authority Bans Public at Ashion Pyinya Sara Trial

Sittwe: The military authority banned the public from attending the trial of Arakanese historian monk Ashion Pyinya Sara's trial that was held on Monday in the Sittwe district court, despite previously allowing the public to be present when the monk was produced before the court.

A relative of the monk said, "We went to the court to hear the trial of U Pyinya Sara on Monday, but the authorities did not allow us to attend the hearing."

Ashion Pyinya Sara was arrested by the Burmese military authority on 27 July. Since then, the monk has been brought before the court three times. All previous times, members of the public were able to sit in the courtroom to hear the trial.

"Many armed security police were deployed at the entrance gate of the court compound as well as inside the courtroom on the day. The police officials barred us from entering the courtroom to hear the trial, but the police did not disclose why they authority was banning the public from the trial," he added.

On 17 August, during the second day of the trial, the government's main witness, Daw Mala, stated before the judge that the monk had not lived with her and that that the monk was innocent of the charges. She confessed to accusing the monk of cohabitation in order to get money after the complainants, U Tun Thein and Aung Win Kyaw, offered to pay her two million kyat if she accused Ashion Pyinya Sara of living with her.

News about Daw Mala's confession spread wide and many people realized the accusations against the monk are baseless.

"The authority worried the information from the trial would leak out if the public was allowed to attend the court. So the authority barred the public from attending the hearing. It further proves the charges against Ashion Pyinya Sara have been fabricated by the authority," the relative said.

Ashion Pyinya Sara is a well-known Arakanese historian who has written many articles related to the ancient kingdom of Arakan and Arakanese literature. The authority, however, sees this as behavior contrary to the solidarity of the union. U Pyinya Sara also refused to cooperate with the military authority when they proposed he work for the military government.

It was learned that many people believe the arrest of Ashion Pyinya Sara is related to politics and his behavior against the military government.

U Pyinya Sara is now being detained at the Sittwe prison and authorities have filed seven charges against him. Among them is one serious charge of disrupting the stability of the state.



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