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Four women activists arrested by special branch

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Four women activists, praying for the release of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, were arrested on Saturday,  the eve of full moon day that marked the end of Buddhist lent, sources close to the activists said.

Naw Ohn Hla, Myint Myint San, Cho Cho Lwin and Ma Cho, were arrested by Rangoon’s Special Branch Police after returning from the Magwe Monastery in South Dagon suburb of Rangoon. They had offered alms to monks on the eve of the full-moon day, a source close to the activists said.

“We were told that they dropped Cho Cho Lwin at her shop in Thingankyun Township and the other three were on their way back home. But they were picked up by the SB from the road,” a family member of Ma Cho told Mizzima.

The family member, who sought anonymity, said Cho Cho Lwin was picked up later from her shop by the SB. They asked her to close the shop immediately and follow them.

“Cho Cho Lwin was taken to the local Peace and Development Council office. I followed them but was not allowed to enter,” said the family member adding that they are still unaware of the whereabouts of the four women activists.

Naw Ohn Hla, a former National League for Democracy member has been an active campaigner for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and regularly holds prayers in pagodas on Tuesdays, the day on which the pro-democracy leader was born.

A close friend of Naw Ohn Hla in Rangoon’s Hmawbe Township said, “I heard that she had been arrested again. But I don’t know her whereabouts. She is often arrested but she is sent back the next day. But this time she has not come back yet.”

Buddhist monks in Burma and in exile have set Saturday as the last date for the military government to apologize to them for their maltreatment of fellow monks during the 2007 monk-led protests and in the aftermath of the crackdown.

But since the junta failed to apologize, monks said they have begun the third boycott, known as ‘Pattani Kuzanakan’. The boycott involves not accepting alms and donations from members of the military regime and not conducting any Buddhist rituals for them.

The first ‘Pattani Kuzanakan’ was announced in 1990, after soldiers were ordered to shoot-down Buddhist monks offering alms and donation on Burma’s Martyr’s Day. The second was in September 2007, when soldiers attacked monks in Pakokku town in Magwe division while they were marching and chanting metta-sutta, the Buddhist words for loving kindness.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 October 2009 20:24 )  

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