Wirathu’s reaction, according to Gambira, was to admit to an unsettling relationship with government officials. “Before I met Wirathu, he met with Aung Thaung, a close advisor of General Than Shwe [The former dictator General of Myanmar still believed to be in power behind scenes]. When Wirathu met with me he said he wouldn’t create these problems in the future, but then he said he can’t ignore Aung Thaung. Wirathu was worried also that he would go to jail again if he disobeyed orders from Aung Thaung. That is the reason Wirathu does this [whips up ethnic tension].”
If Gambira’s memory is accurate, this appears to be the “Bhuddist Bin Laden” admitting that he is under pressure from a government official to create disturbances between Bhuddists and Muslims. Speculation about the relationship between to two is widespread, particularly after Wirathu and Aung Thaung met in April 2012, shortly before the riots in Rakhine. But on contacting Wirathu about Gambira’s claim, he flatly denied that the two had even met.
မြတ္စလင္ေတြနဲ႔ ျပသနာမလုပ္ပါနဲ႔။ လုပ္ရင္ ဗုဒၶဘာသာရဲ့ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာက်မယ္လုိ႔ က်ဳပ္(ဦးဂမ္ဘီရ)က ဦးဝီရသူကုိ ေျပာခဲ့တယ္။
ဦးဝီရသူက သူနဲ႔ အစုိးရၾကားမွာ ရွင္းမရတဲ့ျပသနာေတြ ရွိေနတယ္လုိ႔ ေျပာတယ္။
ဦးဝီရသူနဲ႔ က်ဳပ္မေတြ႔ခင္ေလးမွာ ဦးဝီရသူက ဗုိလ္သန္းေရႊလက္ရုံး ေအာင္ေသာင္းနဲ႔ ေတြ႔ခဲ့တယ္။
ဦးဝီရသူက (မြတ္စလင္ေတြနဲ႔ ျပသနာကုိ) သူမလုပ္ဘူးလုိ႔ က်ဳပ္ကုိေျပာခဲ့ေသာ္လည္း ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္းကုိေတာ့ အေလးအနက္မထားလို႔ေတာ့ မျဖစ္ဘူးလို႔ ေျပာျပန္တယ္။ ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္း အမိန္႔အတုိင္း လုိက္မလုပ္ရင္ သူ႔ကုိ ေထာင္ထဲျပန္ထည့္လုိက္မွာကုိ ဦးဝီရသူက ေၾကာက္ေနတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ ဦးဝီရသူက အခုလုိ လုပ္ေနတာျဖစ္တယ္။
ဦးဂမ္ဘီရ ေျပာတာမွန္တယ္ဆုိရင္ သူ႔ကုိယ္သူ ဗုဒၶဘာသာ ဘင္လာဒင္လုိ႔ ဝန္ခံထားတဲ့ ဦးဝီရသူက အစိုးရအမိန္႔ေၾကာင့္ မြတ္စလင္နဲ႔ ဗုဒၶဘာသာေတြအၾကားမွာ ျပသနာေတြကုိ တမင္ဖန္တီးေနတာျဖစ္မယ္။
ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္းနဲ႔ ဦးဝီရသူၾကားမွာ ဆက္သြယ္မႈေတြ ရွိေနတဲ့ သတင္းေတြကလည္း က်ယ္က်ယ္ျပန္႔ျပန္႔ ျဖစ္ေပၚေနပါတယ္။ ဦးဝီရသူနဲ႔ ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္းတုိ႔ ရခုိင္အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ မျဖစ္ေပၚခင္ ၂၀၁၂ ဧျပီလမွာ ေတြ႔ခဲ့ပါတယ္။
ဦးဂမ္ဘီရနဲ႔ ေတြ႔ဆုံခဲ့ပါသလားဆုိတာကုိ ဦးဝီရသူကုိ ေမးျမန္းတဲ့အခါမွာ ဦးဝီရသူက ဦးဂမ္ဘီရကုိ တစ္ခါမွ မေတြ႔ဖူးဘူးလုိ႔ အျပတ္ျငင္းပါတယ္။
By Richard Potter
Last month the United States announced that they had issued sanctions against Aung Thaung. The US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset control issued a statement saying, “By intentionally undermining the positive political and economic transition in Burma, Aung Thaung is perpetuating violence, oppression, and corruption.”
In regards to the on going violence in the country’s western Rakhine State, where riots between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhists Rakhine resulted in an unknown number of dead and 140,000 displaced indefinitely into squalid camps, Gambira sees the same hand behind the violence. “Yes. It’s about the generals’ power,” he says. “In Rakhine there is a lot of natural gas and they want to keep control of it. The issue that started the violence was very small, but they turned it into a war. They could have just arrested the men who raped the girl [Ma Thida Htwe, whose rape and murder supposedly by three Muslims was the starting point of the mass riots in 2012.].” While the authorities did in fact arrest men believed to be responsible for the murder of Ma Thida Htwe, they have also been widely accused of allowing, agitating, and in some cases participating in the violence against the Rohingya.
The violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the country shows no signs of relenting, with riots occurring again this past summer in Mandalay. When asked if there was hope for reconciliation he answers with both commitment and awareness to the challenges. “Yes [there can be reconciliation], but there is a problem because people are uneducated they cannot think. People always listen to their leaders. We are trying to form an organisation to make reconciliation in Burma with the leaders from all religions to end the violence. There are groups, though, that work against this, like anti-Muslim groups, such as the Ma Ba Tha. ”
Gambira is the kind of rebel drawn by the heart, and the kind who has refused to be broken when beaten, nor to submit in duress. It’s in large part for this reason, this unwavering resilience to seek justice for all of Myanmar, that the Junta feared him so much. According to Gambira, this is why the government continues to fear his return to Myanmar. “They are afraid; they know people still support me,” he says. “The government in Burma is still waiting for me. Police patrols go past my home every 15 minutes. They wait at the tea houses I used to go to, to see if I will come back.” Should Gambira manage to return, the people of Myanmar would be grateful for it.