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Monk Leader Requests Trial Under Buddhist Law

Press Release: Terry Evans

3 September 2008

Burmese Monk Leader Requests Trial Under Buddhist Law


U Gambira, the detained leader of the All Burma Monks’ Alliance (ABMA), has asked to be tried under Buddhist Law. Gambira's defence counsel is arguing that the state’s senior monks should be permitted to hear the case against the monk leader when he appears for trial on Thursday.

Gambira led last year’s peaceful demonstrations, which were brutally suppressed by the military. He was arrested and subsequently disrobed by the authorities without consulting the Sangha, the institution in charge of Burmese Buddhist monks. The military junta have charged U Gambira with nine criminal offences. The alleged offences include the contravention of immigration laws, contacting banned organisations and illegal contacts with foreign organisations.

His lawyer, Aung Thein, is insistent that the military junta does not have a case against the monk leader. "There is no law in Burma forbidding persons from chanting the Metta Sutta [the Buddha’s Words on Loving Kindness]."

ENDS


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