Imprisoned monks' leader sends message of solidarity

Mar 16, 2009 (DVB), The imprisoned All-Burma Monks Alliance leader, U Gambira, has passed on a message of support to human rights and democracy activists in Burma to keep fighting for change in the political system, said his mother.

U Gambira, known for playing a key role in initiating the September 2007 monk-led protests, is serving 69 years' imprisonment in Sagaing division's Khandee prison.

He was previously held in Mandalay prison before being transferred to Khandee on January 18 for allegedly staging a hunger strike in solitary confinement.

His mother, Daw Yay, told DVB she went to Khandee last week to visit him. He still remains in solitary confinement.

"He reiterated that he was continuing his fight for the people of Burma whose rights were being abused by the government," said Daw Yay.

"He reminded everyone to fulfill their duties."

Last week six people, including two close relatives of U Gambira, were sentenced to five years imprisonment each with hard labour under the Immigration Act.

The group included U Gambira's brother, Aung Ko Ko Lwin, brother-in-law Moe Htet Hylan, Kyaw Myo Satt, Hlaing Myo, Soe Lwin and Ye Nyunt.

Family members said they were first arrested for planning to set off hydrogen balloons in Rangoon last year to mark the one years anniversary of the formation of the ABMA.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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