Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Sangha authority tells abbot to leave monastery

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Shwenyawa Monastery Abbot Ashin Pyinnyar Thiha in Kyimyindaing Township in Rangoon has been told to leave his monastery following a democracy day speech in Mandalay.
Abbot Ashin Pyinnyar Thiha  Photo: Mizzima
The speech was given at the National League for Democracy (NLD) office on International Democracy Day.

The order told the abbot to leave the Sardu Pariyatti Monastery complex or risk being identified as a “disobedient monk.”
The abbot told supporters on Thursday that he would solve the problem in a peaceful way.
“It’s true that the Rangoon Region Sangha Committee sent the instruction letter to me. Right now, I don’t want to talk about what I will do,” Ashin Pyinnyar Thiha told Mizzima.
Presently, the Sardu Pariyatti Monastery has been closed. About 50 monks study there.
On December 10, the abbot participated in a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel peace prize. His monastery frequently cooperates in holding NLD ceremonies.
Observers said Abbot Ashin Pyinnyar Thiha has also been put under pressure since his meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent visit to Burma.
About 50 student-monks, laymen, monks from other monasteries, reporters and military intelligence officials gathered at the monastery when the news came out.
“When the abbot spoke about the instruction letter…some of them cried. The abbot told us to be calm, and he would solve the problem in a peaceful way,” one of the laymen told Mizzima.
On Thursday afternoon, NLD leader Tin Oo spoke with the abbot and told journalists, “Everything will be ok.” The abbot told the crowd to return to their homes.
In November, the Mandalay Region Sangha Committee pressured monks who staged a protest in Mandalay to release political prisoners to move to rural areas.
Meanwhile, foreign-based Burmese Buddhist monks issued a statement on Thursday, saying the Sangha should set up a genuine Maha Nayaka Committee that would support the Buddhist religion and the people.
“In fact, truth should be given the priority. Now, the State Sangha Committee is just doing what the authorities tell them to do. I think they will send the abbot to a rural area,” Ashin Zawana, who was involved in issuing the statement, told Mizzima.
The statement urged the state Sangha committee to protect monks’ rights to speak freely and move around to other monasteries freely.
The statement also said that the state committee should be made up of only highly qualified senior abbots.

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