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BUDDHIST MONKS DEFROCKED BY BURMESE
Date: November 28, 1997
BUDDHIST MONKS DEFROCKED BY BURMESE MILITARY AUTHORITIES
Eight Buddhist monks were forcibly disrobed earlier this month in
Henzada town, south-west of Rangoon, and subsequently detained in
prison following a scuffle with local authorities, according to a
monk who witnessed the incident.
The monk, U Wayama, said the incident occurred following the
temporary arrest and questioning of two Buddhist monks by the
local police. The two monks were taken in by police sergeant San
Nyunt for questioning at about 10 p.m. on November 14 and were
released after being interrogated for about an hour.
U Wayama, who recently fled to the Thai-Burma border, said a
group of monks, from the Boe Thein Tan Monastery, and students
numbering about 20 approached the local Township Law and Order
Restoration Council office demanding an explanation as to why
the two monks had been interrogated.
When the authorities failed to provide a proper explanation, a
scuffle broke out between the group and local authorities.
Following the incident, the eight monks - U Teikka, U Seitta, U
Sandaw, U Pandita, U Nyanidawbatha, U Panya, U Zanila and U
Nandamala - were forcibly disrobed and detained by the
authorities. Three high school students were also arrested. They
are Zaw Myo Aung, Maung Kyaw Thet and Maung Thet Naint Oo.
Burmese military authorities frequently forcibly disrobe monks it
considers are involved in the pro-democracy movement. The ABSDF
understands there are about 152 monks who are still serving
prison sentences in Burma's jails for various political offences.
More than 500 monks have been arrested and jailed since 1988 and
16 of them have died in prison.
In another incident, a revered Buddhist monk from Haymawum
Buddhist Monastery was killed on November 3 in a car accident
involving an army truck. The 77 year-old monk, U Badanda Damika,
was from Myaung Mya town in Irrewaddy Division and was awarded
the prestigious title of Maha Kamahtana Saria, or the Great
According to U Wayama, the truck slammed into the car carrying
the monk near Tike Gyi in Rangoon Division and the local people
are extremely angry with the army.
All Burma Students' Democratic Front
For more information please call 01-654 4984.