Sunday, September 30, 2007

Detained monks being forcefully defrocked


According to locals, among the monks arrested for the demonstrations, about 300 are being held in the warehouses of the GTI (Government Technological Institute) compound. They reported that the military has tried to forcefully defrock these monks.

The military troops and the pro-government Swan Arr Shin thugs had used force to round up these monks while they carried out peaceful demonstrations on the 26th and 27th of September.

A monk from Insein Township reportedly told a local that the military has reportedly tried to defrock the arrested monks by force but has not succeeded so far.

"An abbot from the Insein Sangha Nayakka (Council of Monks) was called upon to carry out the task of defrocking these monks. However, even before the arrested monks began to repeat the chants which would result in them denouncing their monkhood, the abbott declined to continue, citing sangha regulations."

Some government workers who entered the GTI compound a few days ago to repair leaking water pipes reportedly told their families that they saw about 300 monks detained within its grounds.

"There are about 300. The workers were told not to wear uniforms, and ordered to dress as civilians. One of them saw a soldier striking a monk with his belt when the monk raised his head to look at the workers."

Eyewitnesses also reported that, during the transporting of monks, a civilian driver who saw the procession of the army trucks, accidentally touched his horn, and was promptly dragged off the car and taken away.

An injured monk who had wounds on his leg was taken to the hospital, but hospital staff were ordered not to render medical treatment to the monk unless he acquiesced to take off his robes. The monk refused, and the distressed hospital staff contacted the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Mya Oo, who then gave permission to treat the monk regardless.

Locals told the reporter that all entrances and exits of the hospital, especially the main gate, are heavily guarded, and all vistors are required to go through very stringent checks before they are allowed in.

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