Buddhist monk goes on hunger strike for release of all political prisoners

Eleven Myanmar, 13 August 2014

Yangon, Myanmar -- A Buddhist monk who walked from Bago to Yangon in a protest march calling for the release of the remaining political prisoners has said he will continue a hunger strike for 45 days.

The revered monk, U Rakkha Vamsa, began walking from a restaurant in Bago Region at 8am on August 8 and arrived in Magway Monastery in North Dagon Township of Yangon in the evening of August 11.

“I have been on hunger strike for the release of the 29 remaining political prisoners since I started walking to Yangon on August 8,” said the monk.

“I arrived here this morning. The president promised to free all political prisoners. But some are still in jail. He must keep his promise. I will continue my hunger strike for 45 days at the monastery.”

During his hunger strike, he will reportedly be looked after by the Democratic Force and Kyaw Thu from the Funeral Service Association.

“We will closely look after the Sayadaw [the monk] because we are concerned about his health. He will wait to see if the government will fulfill his demand,” said Than Swe from the Democratic Force.

U Rakkha Vamsa has reportedly gone on a protest march and on hunger strike six times for the release of political prisoners.