Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Burma: Person Of the Year 2007 Is U Gambira

Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 9:57 am
Press Release: Terry Evans
Burma: Person of the Year 2007 is U Gambira the Imprisoned Monk Leader

The influential Burmese website THE BURMA DIGEST yesterday announced the results of it's poll for Person of the Year 2007 in Burma. U Gambira, who led Burma's Saffron Revolution in 2007 got highest number of votes; and accordingly was named as "The Person of the Year 2007 in Burma".

U Gambira, the 29-year old leader of the All-Burma Monks' Alliance that spearheaded nationwide protests in Burma in September, became a fugitive following the deadly Sept. 26-27 crackdown on protesters in Burma. He made important announcements to the world outside Burma about the alliance's aims and in a climate of fear and arrests of pro-democracy activists, became one of the new leaders of Burma's freedom movement.

U Gambira led the life of a monk until summer 2007, dedicating his life to religious study and working compassionately for the benefit of all people. Following the SPDC/USDA/SAS attacks on monks in Pakkoku, U Gambira became involved with what we now call the 'Saffron Revolution'. His actions and those of his fellow monks brought the world's attention to the protests in Burma, and gave enormous impetus to the pro-democracy movement inside Burma and with the activist movements around the world. The SPDC saw him and the rest of the protest organisers (and participatants) as their enemy; He was targeted by the SPDC and went into hiding, his family taken hostage until he gave himself up.

U Gambira now languishes in a grim prison cell, and like other protesters beaten and tortured by sadistic SPDC minions. He is reported to be incarcerated at Insein prison and it seems likely that he will be charged with treason and given what amounts to a life sentence behind bars. It was these risks that U Gambira took on himself just a few months ago; he knew the risk, but acted on his conscience and his belief - a belief that non-violent protest and the power of prayer against guns and tanks will eventually win the freedom that the people of Burma so desperately need.

U Gambira acted not for personal gain, or to better himself, or out of any wish for political power; he acted out of compassion and humility and a great love for his fellow man, in a manner true to the fundamental calling of the Buddhist Sangha.

The Burma Digest poll results can be viewed @ www.burmadigest.info


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