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Taungup: Arakanese people have demanded the immediate release of imprisoned monk Rammarwady Shin Pinnyasara at ceremony observing the 227th anniversary of the fall of the Kingdom of Arakan on 31 December in Taunggok, a town in southeaster Arakan State in Burma.

Taungup meetingArakanese people have demanded the immediate release of imprisoned monk Rammarwady Shin Pinnyasara
The demand was reportedly made during the ceremony that was organized by the Arakan Humanitarian Group in Dhamma Vihara Monastery in Taunggok.

"We held the ceremony from 9 am to 12 pm on the day and more than 50 people attended. We discussed the political situation in Burma, including the overall situation in Arakan State, and then demanded the release of Ashin Pinnyasara who has been imprisoned unjustly by [the authorities]," said a youth from the AHN. The added that participants in the ceremony signed an appeal letter to President U Thein Sein demanding freedom for Ashin Pinnyasara.

"The monk is a scholar of Arakan history who has been working selflessly for the welfare of humanity and spirituality for the Arakanese people. As we have seen imprisoning a monk is nothing except an act that can hurt national reconciliation in our country, we have written an appeal letter to the president demanding they release the monk," said the youth.

He said the letter was sent to the president after the ceremony concluded.

He added that participants in the ceremony shared their respective speeches on the present difficulties and sufferings of the Arakanese people, as compared to the past glory of the independent Arakan that had developed with it's own sovereignty, culture, and literature.

Venerable Rammarwady Ashin Pinnyasara was arrested by the Burmese military authorities in July 2010 at his orphanage, Mahamuni Buddha Vihara, in the capital Sittwe. He was then forcibly disrobed from the monk-hood and sentenced to eight years and three months in prison in September on charges of hiding children's dead bodies, possessing illegal foreign currency, misappropriating orphanage funds, failure to comply with municipal laws, and having sexual relations with the orphanage's maid. He is now being held in Tharat Prison in central Burma's Magway Division.

Taungup meeting
The authorities also confiscated his collection of ancient artifacts of Arakan, including coins, Buddha statues, palm-leave scriptures on Arakanese history, and books on traditional medicine. They then shut down his orphanage and sent over 100 of the children to central Burma.

The general opinion among Arakanese people is that his arrest was nothing more than a ploy by the authorities so they could confiscate the priceless ancient Arakanese artifacts he had collected, and suppress his selfless and patriotic endeavors for the cultural and social welfare of his own national people.
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