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Aung San Suu Kyi's Spiritual Adviser Thamanya Sayadaw Passed Away - 2003-11-30


Bhaddanta Vinaya, one of Myanmar's most revered Buddhist monks and a spiritual adviser to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has died, official media reported Sunday. He was 93.

Vinaya known as "Thamanya Sayadaw" or the abbot of Thamanya mountain died early Saturday at Yangon General Hospital, where he had undergone treatment for the last week. He had diabetes and reported heart problems.

State radio and television broadcasts said late Saturday the monk's body was taken to his monastery on Thamanya mountain, 100 miles east of Yangon.

Suu Kyi, who has been under detention for six months, visited Thamanya mountain in 1995 to pay homage to the Vinaya after she was freed from six years of house arrest. She visited him again in June 2002 after being released from 19 months of detention.

Highly respected among Myanmar's people, Vinaya was also known for leading development projects such as road construction. Buddhist monks driving trucks and repairing roads have been common sights near the monastery.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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