Honorary ceremony held for political prisoners in Sittwe

Sittwe: An honorary reception ceremony for Rammarwady Ashin Pinnyasara and other political prisoners who were recently released from prison was held on 20 February in Sittwe, the capital town in Arakan State.

The ceremony was held in the head office of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party and the spokesperson of the party U Khine Pray Soe said the ceremony was held to spotlight the fact amongst the Arakanese people that the prisoners of conscience are admirable people who sacrifice their lives for the interests of their people and country.

“The prisoners of conscience or political prisoners are the ones who are jailed for their selfless services to the well-being of their people and country, but most of the people in our society keep away from them generally fearing they are just prisoners. That is the reason why we hold this ceremony to receive and honour them, our aim being to spotlight the fact that they are good people and worthy of social recognition”, said U Khine Pray Soe.

He said the ceremony was organized jointly by his party and local young activists in Sittwe.

Ko Kaung San, a recently released political prisoner, said Rammarwady Ashin Pinnyasara returned to Sittwe on the day of the ceremony and the participants along with the political prisoners received him at the port of the Malikha express vessel and accompanied him to the ceremony at the RNDP office.

“We received the venerable monk at the port of the Malikha express vessel when he came back to Sittwe and we walked from the port to the RNDP office accompanying him. Many people were wearing headbands and standing on the side of the roads greeting him and shouting their good wishes for him”, said Ko Kaung San.

U Khine Pray Soe, the secretary of the RNDP in Sittwe, U Aung Won, one of the RNDP’s MP from Mraybon Township, U Aung Hla Thein, a well-known historian, and Daw Aye Nu Sein, the lawyer of the monk, were said to have lead the reception team for Ashin Pinnyasara.

Ashin Pinnyasara delivered a speech on his experiences in prison while U Khine Pray Soe and the well-known Arakanese writer Thu Mrat Maha Aung Mray also addressed the crowd with their respective speeches on the lives of political prisoners at the reception ceremony.

The personnel of the special police branch and the military intelligence closely watched the ceremony, but they did not cause any disturbance.

It is also learnt that Rammarwady Ashin Pinnyasara will stay temporarily in the Thatdhamma Guru Pathein Monastery in Sittwe as his monastery cum orphanage is still shut down, as it has been by the authorities since he was arrested in 2010.