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  1. #1
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    Hans Mann's Avatar
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    Burmese former monk Gambira arrested while preparing to travel to Australia


    Gambira and his wife Marie Siochana. Photo: Facebook

    Myanmar authorities have arrested and jailed a former monk and leader of a 2007 uprising who returned to the country from Thailand to apply for a passport so he could travel to Australia.

    Authorities have refused bail for Nyi Nyi Lwin, known as Gambira, despite that he is suffering severe health problems after spending years in Myanmar's jails where he was beaten, chained to a floor and injected with unknown substances that induced unbearable pain and psychotic episodes.

    Known as a leader of the Saffron Revolution, Gambira has been one of the few voices to speak out against the persecution of minority Rohingya Muslims in the majority Buddhist country.

    Nyi Nyi Lwin, known as Gambira, was arrested on Wednesday evening at a hotel in Thailand. His wife posted the photos on Facebook asking people to pray for him. Photo: Facebook

    "Please pray for him," Gambira's Australian wife, Marie Siochana, who married him after a whirlwind romance in 2012, pleaded on Facebook.

    "These are politically motivated trumped up charges," she said.

    Authorities in Mandalay, the country's second largest city, claim they arrested Gambira for illegally crossing the border from Thailand, where has lived on and off for several years. But Ms Siochana said she travelled with her husband through proper immigration channels in both Thailand and Myanmar last week without problems.

    She said more than 20 plain-clothes police entered the couple's hotel room with at least three filming them as they sat semi-naked on the bed, before they took him to a police station.

    Ms Siochana, who insisted on going with him but wasn't allowed in, spent hours waiting outside while her husband was interrogated.

    "He is not involved in political activities and just wants a normal life," she said.

    Ms Siochana has two children in Australia. She said Gambira needs a passport so he can apply for a tourist visa to travel to Australia, where they hope to eventually settle, and be able to travel to other countries.

    Gambira received treatment at Chiang Mai hospital in 2014 for illnesses connected to his ill-treatment in Myanmar's prison system.

    She said Gambira, who underwent brain surgery last year, needs medication which is not available in jail.

    The arrest has highlighted the refusal of Myanmar's military rulers to release hundreds of political prisoners awaiting trial on politically motivated charges, despite repeated promises made three years ago to do so.

    US Assistant Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week called on the military to release the prisoners before a new government led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is sworn into office early in February.

    Human Rights advocates say there are an estimated 128 people who have been convicted and are serving time for political offences in the country also known as Burma.

    Another 472 detainees are facing apparently politically motivated charges, including 23 arrested since elections on November 8 that swept Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy into power.

    Ms Siochana began campaigning for Gambira in 2011 as he faced continued harassment in Myanmar where he has fought for labour rights, stood up for the poor whose land was taken away from them and clashed with pro-government elements in the powerful Buddhist clergy. They married after he had quit as a monk.

    Gambira became one of Myanmar's best known political prisoners after he was sentenced to 63 years jail for leading led anti-government protests in 2007 that became known as the Saffron Revolution. Then troops opened fire on protesters, killing scores.

    Gambira was released in 2012 as the military promised to end its 50 years of repressive rule but was jailed again after trying to re-open a monastery that had been sealed, and has suffered continuing harassment, supporters say.

    Gambira's struggle against repression was acknowledged in late 2012 when he was among a select number of guests invited to hear US President Barack Obama speak at Rangoon University.

    Ms Siochana said, for whatever reason, Myanmar authorities have created a "horrible" situation for Gambira and his family.

    "I love Gambira dearly and he loves me," she said.

    "He is a beautiful, kind and loving person. He makes me laugh constantly and is child-like and humble."

    Burmese former monk Gambira arrested while preparing to travel to Australia

  2. #2
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    Nawtier's Avatar
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    Child like......so he's very Thai

  3. #3
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    Tourist visa to Australia.....
    then political asylum?

  4. #4
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    monks - scamming cnuts

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    monks - scamming cnuts
    I hope you're referring to the pro-government elements he has fought against in the clergy, and not him. Some may be, but this one certainly is not :


    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Mann View Post

    he has fought for labour rights, stood up for the poor whose land was taken away from them and clashed with pro-government elements in the powerful Buddhist clergy.
    There aren't any scammers who have a track record like that.

  6. #6
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    sorry - let me correct my self

    all priests are scamming scum

    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer
    There aren't any scammers who have a track record like that
    everyones mum thinks they are an angel

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    Had a bad experience as an altar boy, did we ?

  8. #8
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    I was excommunicated after they tried to baptise me and I laid a bondi cigar in the basin

  9. #9
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    The Burman regime has yet to change it's way.

    The theatre stage remains the same, even if the proposed image has managed to fool and manipulate.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    One can never trust a story where a bint has a whirl wing romance and marries someone like this.

    Immigration would tell them to fok off I imagine.

    Australian immigration are not good at recognizing some bints 5 second relationship thankfully.

    They have been through it all before.

  11. #11
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    One can never trust a story where a bint has a whirl wing romance and marries someone like this.
    tewwy, they married in 2012 and shes still fighting for him.

  12. #12
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrry
    Tourist visa to Australia.....
    then political asylum?
    Seems likely, but it wasn't the Australians who refused his application, rather his own people arrested him before he could.

    Again and again and again - where is the much-lauded grew up in privilege Aung San Suu Kyi?
    Doesn't help one of the most persecuted population groups in the world, does sweet FA for this man, a fellow anti-government activist who was tortured while she was living the good life - in comparison.

    What an utter disappointment she is

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