Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Monk accused of suicide produced in court

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Ashin Sanda Dika, who was charged with attempted suicide by setting himself on fire, was produced in court on Thursday, sources in the court and opposition said.

The monk Ashin Sanda Dika (36) was disrobed and had to face trial in court inside the Insein prison. Sub-Inspector of Police Zaw Phone Win acted as prosecutor at the Bahan Township court in the case under section 295(a) of the Penal Code (insulting religion). The monk sojourned at Laykyun Mannaing monastery, Daesun pagoda in Pegu Division.

“The four witnesses were called and three of them were examined. The prosecutor also testified,” the High Court source told Mizzima. According to another source, all the witnesses were police personnel.

Nyi Nyi Lwin-turned-Ahsin Sanda Dika defended himself.

“Restriction of movement of a monk in this place is not in accordance with the Canon Law of Buddhism. The Sayadaw (abbot) came here with permission during Buddhist lent. He did not insult the religion. He asked these questions and raised these issues in the court himself,” a person close to the accused said.

The Bahan police station personnel arrested him on August 11, after he visited places near the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters and the Insein prison to find about the court’s judgment on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial on that day.

The three men took Ashin Sanda Dika to the police station in Rangoon North District and at least two policemen beat him up with bamboo poles, the Asia Human Right Commission (AHRC) said.

According to the examination by both prosecution and defence lawyers in court, there was no material evidence such as kerosene found at the scene of the crime. And there were no independent witnesses, the AHRC said.

Meanwhile other monk-related incidents have taken place in Chauk, Yenanchaung and Pakokku townships in Magwe Division on August 27 and August 31. These places were searched and some arrests were made, the All Burma Monks Organization said.

“In fact, the SPDC (junta) is insulting the religion. Our monks are living under the order of Dhama. Arresting monks and charging them with various sections of various laws make us suffer from inferiority complex in comparison to other religions. We are losing face in the world,” U Dhama Wuntha from the monk organization said.

According to War Office sources in Naypyidaw, the junta is expecting another uprising led by monks and it has ordered tightening of security and is closely watch monasteries.


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