Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Two Monks from The Saffron Revolution Arrives in Bangladesh

Source: Mizzima News

After an arduous journey to escape the persecution by Junta, two Arakanese monks who participated in The Saffron Revolution have arrived at the Bangladesh Border on the 29th of October. The two are 26-year old U Eindra Pyinyar and 21-year old U Margainda. They were students of Theology at the Yarzajo Moastery in South Okkalapa, Rangoon when the Saffron Revolution started and they had participated in the marches for 5 days before junta initiated the crackdown.

[Note: Monasteries in South Okkalapa were one of the main targets of junta during the brutal crackdown.]

Mizzima interviews U Eindra Pyinyar about his experiences.

Mizzima: When did you leave Rangoon?
U Eindra Pyinyar: We left on the 11th of October. There were some security checks along the way but they let us go.

Mizzima: How did you make your way here?
U Eindra Pyinyar: We took a coach from Rangoon to TaungKote. From there, we took a smuggling boat to cross the border, with the help of a devotee.

Mizzima: Did you encounter any difficulties along the way?
U Eindra Pyinyar: There were security checks at TaungKote. During the journey, we couldn’t stay at any of the monasteries so we had to stay at inns. Police came to check a few times. The journey was more difficult than usual because of the news about protests, and the police tightened checks.

Mizzima: What role did you play in the protests?
U Eindra Pyinyar: We started marching on the 19th September. Until the 26th.

Mizzima: Were you a leader in the protests?
U Eindra Pyinyar: No, I was just a participant. But I participated almost everyday.

Mizzima: Did the authorities raid your monastery?
U Eindra Pyinyar: We heard that they were going to carry out raids. And they did make their rounds, like they were monitoring us. But by the time, they came with the military trucks, we’d gone into hiding.

Mizzima: How do you feel about the protests?
U Eindra Pyinyar: The protests should bring some changes. There have also been major losses on the part of the public. The monasteries in Rangoon are empty. Our monastery used to have 80 monks. But I doubt there’s any left. There has been much suffering and sacrifices have been made. I believe this will bring peace.

Mizzima: What plans do you have?
U Eindra Pyinyar: Living there was difficult, and we loathe the rule of the regime. So when we decided to leave, there were people who were willing to help us. We have no immediate plans yet.

Mizzima: Would you like to comment on the current situation?
U Eindra Pyinyar: A government should love (sic) its people. It should also be credible enough for the people to rely on. People will continue revolting until it acquires such qualities. We got involved in the protests because we ourselves were not getting enough alms offerings and we could feel the pain of the people. I would like to urge the monks who’re still in Burma to continue boycotting the regime. One effective way would be to stop taking the theological exams organized by the government bodies.

Mizzima also reported that the two monks are being looked after by the Opposition Force of Burma (Bangladesh).

For the original article in Burmese, please click here.

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