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Suppression of Buddhist monks, Apri

Suppression of Buddhist monks

The Mon. Information Service was able to interview a 24-year-old former
Burman Buddhist monk from Yaizagyo town in Murgue Division, who recently
fled to the Thai border to escape possible arrest and abuse by the
authorities because of his opposition activities. He had enjoyed the life of
a Buddhist novice and monk for a total of 7 years until he had himself
disrobed and fled to the Thai border recently. His monk title was Ponnya
Nanda and his layman name is Myo Thant. During the interview, the young
Burman man told about his monkhood experiences:

On 12 and 13 Dabaung 1356, at Kyoh Pin Inn village in Murgue Division 's
Murgue township I preached about the prevailing political situation and the
increased restriction on Buddhist monks. The following day 614 Dabaung),
some soldiers from the local No. 301 infantry battalion (under the No. 88
Division), led by Warrant Officer Win Maung, came and took me to the
detention centre at Nyoung Kan. I was detained there for ten 10 days. This
was the first time I was arrested and detained.

I was arrested as the second time in the month of Thidin Kynt 1357, as they
suspected me of continuing anti-government activities. Actually, I had done
nothing since my first-time arrest. I was taken to the military encampment
at Kyoh Pin Inn first. Then, I was detained in the detention centre at
Nyoung Kan for one night. There I was interrogated through torture. I was
beaten several times with an iron rod by a soldier called Maung Zaw.
Sergeant Kyaw Myint and his soldiers continued torturing me during their
interrogation until I fell unconscious. At about 8 on the following morning,
I regained consciousness. At around 7 in the evening, they took me in a
prison car. I did not know where I was taken to. Through that night, I did
not know what they were doing to me at all. I was unconscious. It was the
1st waning day of Thidin Kyut when I regained my consciousness.  Then I
noticed that I was at the No. I Military Station in Murgue. On the 2nd
waning day, Lieutenant Aye Myint and his men came and told me to sign their
written document of my promise that I would never preach about politics in
the future. I refused to sign the document. Finally they released me. At my
release, my layman friends from Mandalay came and fetched me. In Mandalay, I
continued to be unconscious for 10 more days. With the kind arrangements of
my layman friends there, I was given medical treatment by a doctor, whom I
should not identify since he still lives in the country. The doctor said
that I had been suffering from the effects of the injection of certain drug,
which can damage one's ability of remembering the past. I recovered after
being given medical treatment for 7 more days by the doctor.

During the beginning of Dabaung 1358, it was widely rumoured that the SLORC
government was going to repair the Thiho Shin pagoda in Pakhokku town.
Having heard the rumour, I organized some like-minded peer monks and my
layman friends around to oppose that plan of the government. Few days later,
we heard that the military (Pakhokku-based No. 101 Division) was coming to
arrest us. Having heard the news, I went into hiding together with 5 other
activist monks. We stayed in the hiding in several places --  including
Murgue and Chauk (Murgue Division), Mokok (Mandalay Division), Moulmein and
Thanbyuzayat (Mon State), and Pa-an (Karen State) --  for a total of over
one year. All the 6 of us had ourselves disrobed together in Moulmein just
few days before we fled to the Thai border. For the sake of security, we
parted company and fled to the Thai border by different ways.

April 1998, Mon Information Service (Bangkok)
1189/3 Soi Panitchakan-Tonburi,
Charan-Snitwong Rd.
Bkk. 10160