Detains Monk Recently Freed From Prison Myanmar
The monk, Ashin Gambira, was one of the organizers of the 2007 uprising against the military government that ruled
The government of President Thein Sein, which took office less than a year ago, has rescinded a number of the authoritarian practices that for decades had made
Before Mr. Gambira was released on Friday, the State Department called on the government “to provide clarification on the purpose of his detention.”
“Given the Burmese government’s stated commitment to reform and democratization, we call on Burmese authorities to protect the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens, including all of those recently released from detention,” said Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, referring to Myanmar, per American policy, by its former name.
Many observers have been predicting some sort of backlash against the reforms by hard-liners in the government or factions of the military.
Mr. Gambira in recent weeks has remained critical of the government, telling an interviewer that
Details of Mr. Gambira’s detention were slow to emerge Friday. The American Embassy in
The Associated Press quoted a Home Ministry official in
Mr. Thein Sein, a former general, has quickly carried out reforms in recent months that have won the praise of, among others, the
Bo Kyi, one of the founders of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which is based along the Thai-Myanmar border, counts at least 415 political prisoners still in detention. The government is also struggling with the long-desired goal of national unity among
Fighting continues between ethnic Kachin rebels and government troops in northern
Another cease-fire agreement, signed in December, between the government and the Shan State Army-South — a large militia in northern
Such challenges are at odds with the picture being painted in
“Eternal peace is now taking shape,” said an article in The New Light of Myanmar on Friday.
Still, foreign investors, who have flocked to
“It really is puzzling how they’ve been able to turn on a heel and push so quickly in this other direction with economic reforms and civil liberties,” said John Pang, a Malaysian who organized a business delegation to Myanmar this week of prominent executives from the region.
“I’m well past wondering how genuine they are in their reforms,” Mr. Pang said. “The question is really whether it’s sustainable — and irreversible.”
Mr. Pang said the arrest of Mr. Gambira could help give outsiders some sense of the limits of tolerance amid the changes.
“All of this is starting to look like they are defying gravity,” Mr. Pang said. “I just want to know where the gravity is.”
Steven Lee Myers contributed reporting from
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs