Narinjara news

MONKS FORBIDDEN FROM LISTENING TO RADIO BROADCASTS

Sittwe, 19
th December 01:  The student monks of the biggest Buddhist centre of learning in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State in Western part of Myanmar, have been prohibited from listening to the radio broadcasts, quoting a student monk from the monastery our correspondent says.
The monastery called Pathein Monastery, has two hundred and fifty student monks taking the Buddhist religious education courses offered by the Myanmar Sangha Council, which is controlled by the Myanmar military regime.  The abbot, U Pandita, of the monastery was imprisoned in 1986 not for his involvement in active politics, but because of the involvement of some of the student monks from his monastery in the seizure of Minbra town by Arakan Communist Party (ACP).  In 1988 when during the democracy uprising, inmates of the Sittwe prison were set free by political activists, the abbot also came out.  Since then, he and his monastery have been kept under close watch by the military intelligence.  During the Sittwe Buddhist-Muslim riot in 1994, the monks of the monastery invited monks from all over Rakhine State to a meeting where they actively tried to  placate the situation, and demanded of the junta to settle the matter where the Muslims had attacked and wounded a Buddhist monk.  Since then the military intelligence forced the abbot to sign a paper declaring that the monastery would never get involved in any political activities. 
From then on, the abbot makes it compulsory to every new student that, he would not either listen to the radio or read a newspaper/journal, refusing which will entail him expulsion from the monastery.   Our correspondent concluded quoting the monk that, there is no monastery in Myanmar where listening to radio or reading of newspapers has been officially prohibited by the junta.  #
 
*Narinjara News is an independent news organization focusing especially on the western side of Burma.  The news published here can freely be used by mentioning the source.  Please write to < narinjara@hotmail.com><narinjara@bdonline.com> for more information.