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Suu Kyi dedicates monk-robe ceremony to political prisoners

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Aung San Suu Kyi donated robes and provisions to a total of 885 monks, novices and nuns in front of her National League for Democracy party’s head office in Rangoon today, dedicating the merit-making to the release of all political prisoners.

She offered 330 pairs of robes, 100 towels, umbrellas, footwear and funds to 766 monks and novices and 119 nuns between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. this morning in a ceremony that went smoothly, without hiccups or harassment from authorities.

“Besides local monks, some from other provinces and Rangoon suburbs Thanlyin and Hlaingtharya, and Pegu, also came … to receive the offerings. Some even discharged themselves from hospital to receive the donations from Daw Suu,” NLD Rangoon Division branch Women’s Organisation chief Dr. May Win Myint told Mizzima, referring to Suu Kyi with the Burmese honorific.

Alms have been offered to about 150 monks every Tuesday, Suu Kyi’s birthday, but today other monks came long distances to receive the offerings. Along with Suu Kyi, NLD leaders Tin Oo, Win Tin and Than Tun made similar donations to the monks and nuns.

“The monks came in order. Auntie [Suu Kyi] paid respect … by putting her hands at her chest and offered the donations to them. The monks gave her their blessings and best wishes for her health and well-being. Apart from NLD members, many people were present to witness the offerings,” NLD central women’s organisation member Aye Aye Mar said.

daw-suu-donates-monk-sAt 10:45 a.m., three of the monks – from Rangoon, Natmauk and Kyaunggon in Irrawaddy Division – preached sermons to the laity present and were also offered alms. The meritorious deeds today were coupled with other Buddhist rites.
About 800 people attended the ceremonies and were served lunch by NLD members.

The NLD has for the past week invited monks to receive the offerings yesterday by placing notices at its head office and near Shwedagon Pagoda. Suu Kyi however had to postpone the date until this morning as she was seeing off her visiting son Kim Aris, aka Htein Lin, at Rangoon International Airport yesterday.

The party started its “Every Tuesday alms offering” dedicated to the release of all political prisoners on June 26, 2007, in Suu Kyi’s fourth year of a total seven years in her most recent term under house arrest.

On 22 September that year, Agence France-Presse, The Guardian and Mizzima reported that around 2,000 monks marched through Rangoon and 10,000 through Mandalay, with other demonstrations in five townships across Burma. Those moving through the former capital chanted Buddha’s writings on loving kindness and marched through a military barricade on University Avenue in front of Suu Kyi’s home. Although still under house arrest, Suu Kyi made a brief appearance outside the gate of her home to accept the blessings of the Buddhist monks, despite the heavy presence of security personnel in riot gear with shields.

The Assistance Association to Political Prisoners – Burma said 2,203 political prisoners remained languishing in notoriously miserable prisons across Burma.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 December 2010 03:16 )  

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