Movement of monks restricted at night in Pegu

Movement of monks restricted at night in Pegu

April 7, 2006

Local SPDC authorities have restricted the movement of monks in Pegu
(Bago), the capital of Pegu Division. They are not being allowed to go
out at night following the clash between monks and policemen near Shwe
Maw Daw pagoda at a commodity show, according to a monk

Last night Nyar Na Temple authorities, where the Pegu Division Buddhist
Monks Association the Sangha Maha Nayaka is based, made phone calls to
some temples in the city to restrict the movement of monks. They were
instructed not to allow them to go out at night.

"The Abbot (from the Association) said that the monks in the temple
could not go out after 8:00 p. m.," a monk in Pegu who received a
phone call at about 7:30 p. m. said. But some temples have not received
any phone calls and are not aware of the new order.

A member of Sangha Maha Nayaka said it is the result of pressure from
the SPDC authorities. The authorities ordered the Nyar Na temple's
Abbot, who is the Chief of the Monks Association to follow the
instruction of the military authorities and banned monks from traveling
at night in the city.

A member said it is not fair to bar monks because Pegu city residents
are celebrating the Shwe Maw Daw pagoda festival for the past two
weeks. It was resumed this year after having been stopped for more than
five years.

"Monks need to go the pagoda to visit and worship," the Sangha Maha
Nayaka member opined.

On March 31 night a group of monks beat up three police officers after
the police picked up a quarrel with some monks and tried to arrest them
at a commodity show.

Following the clash, the SPDC authorities deployed soldiers and more
police personnel for security at the show. Some monks who were visiting
the show kicked down a motorbike from the stage to express their
unhappiness to the authorities for the March 31 clash.

In 2001 Pegu's Buddhist monks clashed with members of the Muslim
community in the city and the local authorities arrested 25 monks and
sent them to jail for starting a riot and creating unrest.

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