33 year old Ven. A Shin Naymeinda, who played a lead role in the Saffron Revolution of Burma in 2007, fled to Thai-Burma border on May 30th, 2009

Burmese Monk Flees to the Border
During the revolution, Ven. A Shin Naymeinda worked to coordinate and organize the effort through careful and rigorous information sharing and planning.
“On the second day of the revolution, we occupied the east archway of Shwedagon Pagoda. We didn’t have a chance to see Ven. Gambira, the leading monk of Saffron Revolution, but we knew that the revolution was growing stronger on the second day because of his media contacts. We didn’t need to organize the monks inside Burma to take part in this revolution. Everybody inside Burma was already primed to stand up to the regime. As we marched along the street, large groups of people began to join us. The soldiers threw tear gas and fired upon the peaceful protesters and the protesters ran for their lives. The authorities then raided our monastery and took everything they found. We climbed over the brick wall of the monastery to take refuge as the soldiers, government supporters and trained thugs shot at and beat the protesters. We hid in a pool.”
Like Ven. Naymeinda, most of the monks in the Saffron Revolution came from rather remote states and so many of them still haven’t been found by the regime. Others are still being detained in the prisons where the status of their health remains a concern. There have been reports of monks being released from prison with infections, cases of cholera and other health problems.
Ven. Naymeinda wished to remark about the failure of the Saffron Revolution stating that “I think part of the problem may have been that our people said that they would join the protests. We said that we would just walk, recite peaceful chanting and we feared that if they joined the protests, that there would be violence and that they may be hurt by the regime. We assumed that the government would not be cruel to the religious leaders like that. We’d like to solve the problem in peaceful way. That’s one reason why we didn’t organize the people to join the protests. Maybe that’s our weakness. But, we don’t want the people to be hurt.”
Since the Saffron Revolution, Ven. Naymeinda had been taking refuge in the different monasteries and moving from one to another. The authorities are now putting pressure on the monasteries inside Burma to deny any guest monks who have been involved in any politics. The responsible monks now have to sign a contract stating that they will not allow any political activists or monks to stay at their monasteries. The authorities have also assigned a government supported informer to every monastery.
With these latest government measures, Ven. Naymeinda’s life has been threatened inside Burma and so he has left for the Thai-Burma border where he will be able to continue his political advocacy from the outside.


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