Arakanese Monks Arrested for Demonstration in Bangkok

Narinjara, Sept 13, 2007

Dhaka, Bangladesh -- Two Arakanese monks living on the Thai-Burma border were arrested by Thai police yesterday during a demonstration against the Burmese military government that was being staged in front of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

The demonstration staged by the two monks was to protest against the government's recent crackdown on a peaceful demonstration held by monks in Pakokku, a town in central Burma.

The monks have been identified as U Thu Wara from Kyauktaw Township and U Warinda from Kyaukpru Township in Arakan State.

A monk who is a close associate of the two reported that they were arrested by Thai police 15 minutes after they staged the demonstration by holding posters in front of Burma's embassy in Bangkok.

Thai police first attempted to block them from staging the protest, but the monks persisted in their efforts. Shortly after, the Thai police rounded them up and took them to an unknown location, a witness said.

Thai police attempted to disrobe the monks to remove their respected status, but were advised by Thai monks to follow Buddhist religious principals. The two monks were sent to Bangkok's central jail for illegal foreigners.

The two monks' associated says he is worried for the their security because the Thai authority could deport them to Burma. If they are deported, they would certainly face bigger problems from the Burmese government.