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All Burma Young Monks' Union
- Subject: All Burma Young Monks' Union
- From: brelief@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 30 Sep 1995 08:16:00
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Donations for ABYMU can be made through Buddhist Relief Mission. Please
contact BRM at the above address for details.
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A Translation of a Letter from
All Burma Young Monks' Union
SUBJECT: COMMENTS ON POLITICAL AND
RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OCCURRING INSIDE BURMA.
(1) ABYMU has no separate opinion about DKBA. ABYMU
follows the opinion of the "Myitsone (where two rivers have
(a) Every person can have his own separate opinion as an
(b) No one is allowed to speak, to act, to join another
organization in the name of or on behalf of the association.
(c) ABYMU is committed to solving problems peacefully, has
been requested to solve the DKBA problem peacefully, and has
made efforts to accomplish that.
(d) There can be no good effects from attacking refugee camps.
ABYMU has consistently opposed such actions.
(e) ABYMU does not accept any cooperation or alliance with
(2) We cannot deny that DKBA is an association which was
formed based on religion. Because of exhaustion, the members
sought military friendship through reconciliation with the
SLORC. Then, when they had enough strength, they hoped to
turn to nationalism. We certainly expect that they will quickly
be disappointed and disillusioned with the SLORC regime.
For the time being, SLORC will continue to use the DKBA for
the sake of dividing the KNU. SLORC believes that where
there are refugee camps there is support for KNU. Therefore
SLORC will continue to encourage DKBA, those who are
frustrated with KNU, to attack the refugee camps.
(3) ABYMU has no intention of criticizing the past, but only to
analyze what we have seen.
About two years ago there was a problem. Also, there was a
similar problem a month and a half before the Myitsone crisis
occurred. The students and other monks managed to settle
those problems. We believe that it is still too early to explain
the crisis of Myitsone in detail because there is as yet no peace
in the region.
THE INSIDE SITUATION OF MONKS AND THE
(1) The associations are waiting secretly for a more favorable
situation. Contact with border areas has become weak because
of political changes, but ABYMU still has regular contact with
those who are in - charge of the association inside.
(2) The five monks who have been released have no right to
travel independently. The association of monks which is
controlled by the SLORC has not invited them to join and is
afraid to appear cordial to them. We would like to request
religious associations overseas to invite them abroad (but we
do not think that SLORC will allow them to go.) In any event,
it would be a useful "test case".
There was a news announcement that twenty additional monks
have been released. We do not know who they are because
their names are being withheld. In 1990 MIS U Ye Myint
gave notice to monks close to him that there was a list of 3115
monks who were to be captured. Based on that information,
ABYMU believes that thousands of monks remain imprisoned
Also there was a rumor that U Ka Wein Da, a leader of the
monks in Mandalay who resolved to "overturn the bowl"and
boycott religious ceremonies arranged by SLORC, died in
prison in Katha in October 1994. Naturally, we are extremely
anxious about the conditions of all monks who are still in
prison in the country.
THE INSIDE SITUATION OF THE BUDDHIST
SLORC is exploiting the religion as an organizer.
The list of donations by SLORC is announced on the radio and
TV every day. SLORC puts in a small amount of money then
collects large amounts from the people, then they make the
claim that they maintain the old pagodas, shrines, and temples.
That work was initiated by U Tin U, SLORC's secretary (2).
Also, SLORC has managed the Sangha by giving various
kinds of medals invented by themselves.
Monks are not at all free. Guest monks must report to
township LORC. SLORC comes and inspects the temples
every day. SLORC waits and observes the people who go in
and out of temples, especially the temples where there are
monks who initiated and were involved in 1988 and 1990
COMMENTS ON DKBA BY MONKS AND PEOPLE
Monks and laypeople are not interested in this event. SLORC
claims that DKBA has defeated the KNU and that the majority
of Karen Buddhist monks accept that analysis. Many people
seem to be saying, "Maybe something is true as far as religion
is concerned, but we lost very much on political grounds."
Both monks and people want to solve the problems peacefully
based on equality between the nationalities. There will be
another point of view on religion for some people and monks.
They do not want to cooperate with SLORC under the present
ABOUT ASHIN TAN MA NI
He had been responsible in the organization as a deputy
secretary and in charge of Mo Goung in ABYMU. He retired
from these posts three years ago (in 1992) and left the
organization in 1994. When the Myitsone crisis occurred, at
first he stood on the KNU side and was active. Later, we heard
that he made contact with SLORC. A lot of people heard
about that because the news spread through the refugee camps.
Not much later, he was captured by the Thai army at a place
on the border (Moe Ke Khwin). Afterwards we heard that he
was beaten and that he accused the KNU of arranging that
occurrence. He returned to SLORC controlled area via
Myawaddy on June 4, 1995.
At that time, security was very complex. Security conditions
were terrible because of a four-sided crisis between KNU,
DKBO, the Thai army and the SLORC. Therefore, we could
not spare any time to inquire into the situation; no one knew
where anyone was staying. ABYMU has tried to solve these
problems by sending news, making sponsors, giving notice,
SITUATION OF MEMBERS OF ABYMU AND OLD
MONKS WHO ARE LIVING ON THE BORDER
ABYMU was established in 1988 with members from the
independent area, border area, and monks who are abroad and
inside. There is a conference every three years. ABYMU
basic principles are:
a. To eliminate Totalitarianism from Burma
b. To restore Democracy and human rights
c. To establish the Union in which different races can live
d. To bring about peace for the whole country
In order to achieve these goals, we are committed to the
principles of non-violence, never to take up weapons, and to
abide by the rules of the monkhood.
ABYMU is a member of the National Council of the Union of
Burma (and belonged to preceeding alliances), but there are
clear provisos in the NCUB constitution staying that
"ABYMU members are prohibited to participate in troop
movements." We have entered NCUB and other such
associations for our security and for our right to speak.
ABYMU has settled in eight regions as base regions and
appointed an in-charge in each region. Those are, (1) Central,
(2) Moe Ke, (3) Kyaik Don, (4) Three Pagodas, (5) Shan
State, (6) Kachin State, (7) India and (8) Rakhaine. Inside and
outside Burma are special regions.
Finance comes from international donors. Work accomplished
necessarily depends in large part on the budget available. In
reality, only about 300 monks can carry out the emergency
work. We accept regional monks as reserves. They number
Problems in the Karen region have caused a reduction in the
number of monks able to be active. ABYMU has faced many
problems such as stable bases, unity, and communications.
We lost considerable properties because of the burning of the
main temple and because of frequent moves.
After we moved to Central, there was a meeting of ABYMU
leaders on April 22, 1995, lasting 5 hours. Here are some of
We have to continue until there is democracy and human
rights in the country.
ABYMU continues to be based both inside and outside the
We will continue to act according to our original principles.
(There were, all told, 22 resolutions accepted at the April
(1) A temple or school compound which will be a stable place
for the organization
(2) An information office in an urban area, allowing good
(3) An ABYMU magazine in English and Burmese, to be
issued every three months
(4) Expenses for a conference to be held at least every three
CONDITIONS OF MONKS IN THE BORDER AREA
Some monks are living in villages and others are now living in
refugee camps. Those monks residing in villages are staying
comfortably but those in refugee camps face great difficulties
because they must depend on the donations of refugees who
are themselves facing hardships and inadequate provisions.
We believe that this emergency can be solved by informing
those who are concerned about the Sasana and Burmese
It is very important for the schools of village monks and also
refugee monks to run smoothly, to train young monks and also
the young people of the community. These schools are facing
many shortages. This situation can also be alleviated by
informing those who wish to support us.
Yours in the Dhamma,
All Burma Young Monks Union,