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Prominent historian monk arrested in Sittwe

Narinjara News, July 28, 2010

Sittwe, Burma -- Burmese military authorities on Tuesday arrested prominent Arakanese historian monk Ramar Waddy U Pyinya Sara in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, on the accusation that he abused Buddhist religious principles, said another monk from Sittwe.

Speaking to Narinjara over telephone, the monk, who wished to remain anonymous said, "A combined force of police and officials from the religious department arrested him from his monastery on Sittwe Tuesday morning on the accusation of breaking religious principles."

U Pyinya Sara is a well known Arakanese historian as well as a leading abbot of the Buddha Vihara Mahamuni orphanage, where more than 100 orphans live and receive education.

"I went to police station No. 1 to inquire about his arrest but the police official could not provide me with the facts of his arrest. I was unable to see him at the police station because the authorities are not detaining him there," said the monk.

The authorities took him to an unknown location in Sittwe after his arrest.

A trustee in the monastery said, "The authorities told us the reason for his arrest was that he was living with a woman against the religious law. But I do not believe the accusation and strongly believe his arrest was related to politics."

As U Pyinya Sara is a respected historian, he reveals the history of Arakan through articles published in journals and magazines. The authorities, however, see this as behaviour against solidarity of the union.

It was learnt that residents of Sittwe are eager to know the reason behind the arrest of U Pyinya Sara after reports of his arrest began spreading in the city.

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