Myanmar: Holy relic stolen, August 20, 2005

Yangon, Myanmar -- A replica of Buddha’s tooth - a holy relic of the Buddhist religion -has been stolen from a temple in a northern suburb of Yangon, Myanmar, an official said.

The glass casing at the Swedaw Myat - ?Tooth Relic? - Pagoda in which the tooth replica had been enshrined was discovered broken Aug. 14, and the tooth, along with several precious gems, were missing, said an official at the Religious Affairs Ministry.

The replica relic had been kept on a bejeweled pedestal with a jewel encrusted holder inside the glass case. Soldiers have sealed the pagoda premises and pilgrims have not been not allowed to visit while the theft is being investigated.