[gallery type="slideshow" ids="101474,101475,101476,101477,101482,101481,101480,101479,101478"] RANGOON — “Authoritarian rule is the common enemy of Burma and all Burmese citizens,” said one of the country’s most respected Buddhist monks, Thu Mingala, at a ceremony to mark the birthday of a colleague at a monastery in Rangoon Division’s Hmawbi on Friday. The outspoken Buddhist literature laureate, who was jailed under the previous military regime, attended Friday’s function alongside 88 Generation Peace and Open Society activists Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Jimmy Me. “The environment in Burma has been destroyed by the dictators,” Thu Mingala said to a crowd of around 1,000 people that attended the function for the monk Pinyar Thiha’s birthday, where a statue was unveiled in his honor. “All those who have [supported] and implemented authoritarian rule in Burma are the saboteurs who have destroyed Burma.” Thu Mingala told attendees to be free of fear and help safeguard a more prosperous future for the country after decades of military rule. He also reminded the public not to forget the students that remain in prison in connection with the violent police crackdown on a peaceful protest at Letpadan, Pegu Division, in March.
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