Myanmar: Soldiers Trying to Reduce Monk's Influence

Democratic Voice of Burma The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), a non-profit news organization and one of the few places where the news from Myanmar still trickling in has posted a report in Burmese on soldiers trying to get the monks to give up their religious life.

Some 300 monks who were arrested a few days ago were delivered to a garage just out side of Insein GTI College. The soldiers are reported to be trying to force the monks to ” give up the secular life, to disrobe – become a layperson and no longer honour the ethics of being a monk.”

It is considered to be a sin to just give up being monkhood without valid reasons. The soldiers are trying to significantly lower their influence on people down, to shame them.

DVB also mentioned that soldiers ordered the “most senior monk in Insein” to come over and read pali scriptures that will begin the process of “shaming the monks” to make monks change into laypersons. However, the monks, who are supposed to repeat the pali scriptures read by the senior monks, refused to repeat them and after a while, the senior monk said that he can't convert them into laypersons and that it just won't happen and refused and supposedly left.

There are reports that the soldiers are also beating the monks in Insein. When a plumber came to fix the water pipes in the place, a monk looked up to see him and a soldier is said to have hit him with his belt.

There was also a report that when the army truck with these monks passed by cars on the street, one driver made the mistake of honking (probably in fear) and the soldiers stopped the truck and arrested the driver who honked.

There are also reports that a monk with wounds on his feet was brought to the general hospital and the soldiers ordered the doctors to not treat the monk until he converted back to a layperson. The monk then replied that he will not revert to become a layperson and preferred to die from his wounds.

Apparently, the hospital staff had to get the permission of the Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Mya Oo to be able to finally treat the monk.

Witnesses report that soldiers have surrounded the entrances and exits of the general hospital and are interrogating everyone who is visiting.


  • bookbagwarrior

    It is past time shrieking our outrage at what is going on in Burma. It is time to take action that works:
    The Burmese Junta can be defiant because friendly “rogue” companies continue to support them. Their answer is “OR ELSE WHAT??” meaning for as long as Chevron, Total of Thailand, French, Indian, Singapore companies continue to support them…it is business as usual folks. When the media coverage dies will the outrage. That is what the junta is banking on and taking to the bank apparently. “UNLESS”…GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY…focuses its attention on action that can really hurt them. 1. Picket not the Burmese embassy in India, France, Singapore , and Thailand but the companies that do business with them. 2. Reporters without Borders or instant I citizen Reporters can follow CEOs and billionaires of these companies around paparazzi style to ask them about their support for the junta. I guarantee that getting their faces plastered all over the world as “rogue businessmen supporters of monk killing junta” will not go well in their golf games, country clubs, their daughters’ debutant balls and pretensions or aspirations at high society… 3. Organize “stock sell off” demonstrations in front of the “stock exchange” buildings of junta friendly countries and ask investors to threaten “mass sell off” of stocks unless junta loving companies apply pressure on the junta to stop the killing and restore democracy…that’s just for starters…I’m sure others can think of other “creative combat” strategies to answer their brazen response to world outrage of “or else what?”…that’s what..

  • Corrine

    Hi, my name is Corrine. I am 17 and a Senior in High School. For my Government class we have been assigned to research the topic of Mayanmar and find out any current updates about it.. I have found nothing significant whatsoever and would like a little feedback on the situation and a little more detail, because the most I know of as of now is that people in Mayanmar are fighting for democracy and being killed for it…. but I would like to shine a light on something…. These people so desperatly are fighting to become a democracy… some are even dying for it… and here in America we have every right to vote once we turn 18, yet it is extremly hard to get even half of our nation to vote once every 4 years… do we deserve it? Think about it… are we so pampered a nation that we lay on our butts and complain about a president or decisions that we made no effort to even put a say into? We want to comment on the bad and how its getting worse.. but in reality those people have no rights to say anything if they didn’t even take the time to vote on it! Do ya know what Im saying!?

  • mahathir_fan

    good ideas there. keep the fight going. in the end, only democracy can prevail. why has the junta held on for power for so long? Release Aung San Su Ki. Aung San Su Ki is the dauhgter of Aung San, the founder of the Communist party of Burma and the father of modern Burma!

  • I agree that the generals will not pay attention to anything except business. Bush announed sanctions. Does that mean that Chevron is no longer doing business with Myanar’s generals?

  • Thomas

    In these times the Internet has become crucial to spreading information and to sorting out the truth. We are seeing an example of where it is important and how blocking it can hurt.

    I have peeked at the scifi action movie “Nightmare City 2035.” A version has been just released in Thailand on DVD in English and Thai. Here we see what happens after the Internet was taken away. (And a few other warnings.) A small number of people stand for the truth.

    (In the US, the people need a president who will stand for the truth.)

  • […] Links, October 3, 2007 October 3, 2007 Posted by philweb in General. trackback Global Voices Online reports on the junta’s efforts to force monks to disrobe (in the religious sense) and give up […]

  • Ajahn Tut (Greg Tutko)

    Having been a Theravada Buddhist monk for several years in Thailand (the same branch of Buddhism as practiced in Burma) I am appalled at the tactiques used by the Burmese military against their own monks. They are the brothers and sons of some of the men in the military. Killing a monk is the worst imaginable act for a Buddhist, yet these uniformed thugs seem to have carried out their work without consideration for the reverence these monks inspire in Burmese society. Because the Buddhist teachings are in conflict with the actions of the Junta, the military see the monks as dangerous rivals, therefore, the enemy. I would simply point out that the teachings of the Buddha, as preserved and taught by the venerable monks, have been around for 2550 years. In years to come, who will remember the names of the generals who have enslaved their own people? Non-violent resistance is the only path to overcome these criminals. Suggestions to increase pressure on those companies that prop up the Junta are excellent ideas. Justice and human decency will prevail in the end. The world-wide outcry of protest is a sign of the true nature of humanity. Let us persevere in our efforts to bring an end to these crimes.
    May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.

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  • Thomas

    What’s crazy is Burma was better off under colonial rule than it is now. Honestly, I think the only thing these evil generals will understand is the same brute force they are inflicting on others. Talk about a nation that would REALLY greet our soldiers with roses at their feet, the Burmese people would happily assist the United States or a U.N. force at toppling this wicked regime. I say, attack and incapacitate Burma’s military, kill or capture EVERY last general in the country and try the survivors for war crimes, write the country a new constitution, prohibit them from any kind of significant military buildup in the future and open the resource rich country of Burma up for free trade and tourism. None of this will probably ever happen but it sure would be nice.

  • Thomas

    Ajahn Tut (Greg Tutko):

    Unfortunately I think force is all these disgusting criminal generals will understand. I think the U.N. should launch a full scale invasion and topple this awful regime. You are in Thailand? I fear Thailand is headed down a simiiar path right now.

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