Monk walks from Mandalay to Arakan in support of political prisoners

Buddhist monk Rakkha Wuntha was in jail for his political beliefs. Now he’s marching all the way from Mandalay to Arakan state in support of the remaining political prisoners.

“The president promised that there would be no more political activists remaining in prison after 2013, and we were waiting for this to happen”, said Rakkha Wuntha. “Although some political inmates were released in the end of 2013, there are still 33 of them remaining and I would like to request the government to unconditionally release them.”

The monk’s final destination is historical pagoda Maha Myat Muni in Arakan state’s Kyauktaw town.

When he was passing Magwe division’s Yaynanchaung town, police threatened to arrest him for violation of the peaceful assembly law.

“I was met by the commander of Yaynanchaung police station who suggested I should head back to where I came from as I was allegedly violating the article 18”, Rakkha Wuntha said. “I told him that shouldn’t be the case as I was not staging a protest, I was not giving any speech or reading out any statement, but on a pilgrimage – as president Thein Sein promised to have no political prisoners remaining in 2014 and since they are still in prison to date I am now on a pilgrimage to pray for their release.”

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Rakkha Wuntha was not charged, however, and proceeded on his journey. On Monday, he reached Pegu division’s Prome town and stayed the night in Zeeoak Monastery.

Prome town’s police told DVB, they had no plans to charge him.

Rakkha Wuntha continues his walk towards Arakan State. Hopefully, his prayers will be heard.

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