Buddhist monks detained and restricted by Burma junta

Democratic Voice of Burma, Jan 28, 2005

Yangon, Myanmar -- The authorities of Burma?s military junta, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) detained the abbot of Payeik-chimyin who was venerated by the ousted ?Prime Minister? General Khin Nyunt, and imposed restrictions on two other renowned abbots.

The abbot of Payeik-chimyin was venerated by all the family members of Khin Nyunt while he was in power. Penwekone-born abbot was promoted and conferred upon with a new monastery which was built within a month at New Pa-le Town in the suburb of Rangoon.

Now that Khin Nyunt is ousted, the monk is being charged with misappropriation of religious funds and sleeping with women and the like. He was also forcibly defrocked straight away and charged with rape, according to Rangoon residents.

Other two abbots, Alodawpyit from Pagan and Kyaikhteesaung from the bottom of Thamanya Hill, have been told not to travel far or accept large donations. Kyaikhttesaung Abbot was responsible for choosing the auspicious date for the raising of the repaired ?umbrella? of Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, and as he is known to be an expert in astrology and a wizard in soothsaying, the authorities are pressurising him to defrock.

According to latest reports, all civil servants throughout Burma have been ordered not to take part in religious rites and donations, by the order of a secret directive through respective ministries. The ruling generals? soothsayers advised them that great problems could arise from small religious matters, according a civil servant who doesn?t want to be named.