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Monywa hospital chief says burns not caused by tear gas

 A Buddhist monk is treated for severe burns by a medic in Monywa. (PHOTO: Hein Htet/Mizzima)The injuries to Buddhist monks who were involved in the crackdown at Latpadaung copper mine on Thursday were caused predominantly by burns, but not by acid burns, said Dr. Than Htut, the medical superintendent at Monywa General Hospital.

“When the injuries were treated they did not have the bad odor symptomatic of acid burns,” Dr. Than Htut told Mizzima.

He said 70 Buddhist monks and five laypersons were injured, and that, by Saturday, 26 monks were still receiving medical treatment at the hospital. Two of them had to undergo operations, he said.

Earlier, authorities had announced that the riot police used only tear gas and smoke bombs in the crackdown against protesters.

But experts and chemists say that tear gas cannot cause such burns. Several commentators have suggested that incendiary devices were used.

Revered monk Sitagu Abbot Ashin Nyanissara visited the injured monks at the hospital and donated 2.5 million kyat (US $2,875) to treat the injured monks.

U Eindarsara, a monk from Pakokku East Monastery who was involved in the peaceful protest and who has suffered burns, said, “Although they [the police] are violent, our spirits are not violent. We have only loving kindness for them.”  

He said that Aung San Suu Kyi, who visited the injured monks on Thursday night, said that she told the monks to continue their work based on loving kindness and sympathy.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 03 December 2012 16:00 )  

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