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Burmese in Japan Stage Protest-„The Activities of Burmese Nationals in Japan“ by Burma Today

August 18, 2010

Nearly 100 Burmese living in Japan staged a protest on Tuesday in front of the Burmese embassy in Tokyo, Japan, demanding the release of a well-known Arakanese historian monk and 11 Arakanese youths, in addition to the release of seized artifacts and 100 relocated Arakanese orphans.

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The protest was led by Arakanese political party, Arakan League for Democracy (Japan), and took place after the Burmese military junta recently arrested a well-known Arakanese historian monk and sentenced 11 Arakanese youths to 3 to 9 years in prison.

Ko Kyaw Than Hlaing, who is a member of the group, said, “We staged our protest in front of the Burmese embassy in Tokyo from 4 to 5 pm, against the military junta who arrested our respected monk and sentenced 11 youths to 3 to 9 years. The arrest and sentence of our people by the junta are baseless and unjust. So we demanded the release of them immediately.”

The protesters stood in front of the embassy holding many posters and portraits of monks during the protest, and shouted many slogans demanding the release of the monk and the 11 youth.

“We also demanded that the military government send back the 100 Arakanese orphans to Arakan State from Burma proper, return the many precious ancient Arakanese antiques to Arakan, and re-open the orphanage that was sealed off by authorities,” he said.

The Burmese military authority arrested well-known Arakanese historian monk Ashon Pyinya Sara in Sittwe on 27 July on several accusations, including abuse of religious principles.

After the incident, the military authorities closed and sealed off the orphanage led by Ashon Pyinya Sara and sent 100 orphans to undisclosed locations in Burma proper. At the same time, the authority seized many precious ancient antiques, including ancient silver and gold Arakanese coins, Buddha statues, and palm-leaf inscriptions that had been collection by Ashon Pyinya Sara over the years.

The Maha Muni Buddha Vihara orphanage is located at suburban Sittwe, the capital of Arakan and it was biggest orphanage in Sittwe.

On 11 August, 2010, the authority sentenced 11 Arakanese youth who have been detained since 2009 to three to nine years in prison on several charges in a trial held in the notorious Insein Prison court, during which no evidence of their guilt was presented before the court.

The youths, all aged around 20 years old, were arrested in Rangoon and Arakan State on 4 September, 2009, on multiple charges, including possession of explosives, connections with outside organizations, and crossing the border illegally.

After the incident, not only Arakanese people but also others throughout Burma were displeased with the junta’s actions against the monk and the youth.

During the protest, a leading member from the Arakan League for Democracy (Japan), gave a statement to the Burmese ambassador related to the arrest and sentencing of the monk and youth.

In the statement, the organization demanded the military authority release the monk and 11 youth, as well as return the precious Arakanese antiques and send back the 100 orphans to their orphanage in Sittwe.
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