U Gambira reportedly on hunger strike

Jan 19, 2009 (DVB), The family of high-profile monk activist U Gambira, who is being detained in Mandalay prison, said they had heard reports the monk had been staging a hunger strike since 13 January.

Khin Thu Htway, the monk's sister, said the family had been told about the hunger strike on Saturday by a friend in Mandalay.

"He said U Gambira had been refusing food and water since last Tuesday and that he could only lie on his bed as he was getting so weak," Khin Phyu Htway said.

"Our mother is travelling to Mandalay on Monday and will try to visit him," she said.

"We are very worried that he will harm himself with what he's doing as we know he is the kind of person who does not hesitate to do whatever he thinks is right."

Mandalay prison was unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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