Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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Abbot returning from Taiwan arrested

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – U Gaw Thita, an abbot belonging to the Leik Pyar Kan monastery, Nga Htat Gyi pagoda was arrested at the Rangoon airport on his way back from Taiwan.

He was arrested by intelligence personnel and police on August 29.

“He is a native of Kungyangon. He’s over 30 years old and sojourns at the Leik Pyar Kan monastery. The abbot graduated from Dhama Siriya and is a teaching monk in the monastery,” a monk who is close to the abbot said.

There are 24 buildings in the Leik Pyar Kan monastery in Nga Htat Gyi pagoda, Bahan Township, Rangoon. It is learnt that the arrested abbot has been teaching about 30 student monks.

Other monks staying in the monastery do not know his current whereabouts. U Gaw Thita was taking part in reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Cyclone Nargis hit areas.

“He went to Taiwan legally. We heard he is in custody and have been unable to contact him. Inquiries are on about him,” a lay devotee close to the abbot said.

As the second anniversary of the 2007 September Saffron Revolution draws close, security has been beefed up in major pagodas and monasteries in Rangoon since the end of last month. Police personnel are deployed at Ward level Peace and Development Council offices at night.

According to the Thai-Burma border based ‘Association of Assistance to Political prisoners’ – Burma (AAPPB), the junta arrested 158 monks after the 2007 September Saffron Revolution and they were sentenced to various terms in prison with a maximum punishment of 65 years.


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