Abbot arrested for selling government land
Thu 30 Apr 2009, Hong Hakao, IMNA
The authorities in Myawaddy have arrested a monk for selling government land to residents, according to locals.
The Abbot sold land behind his monastery, Phar Chaut Kaung outside Myawaddy and was arrested last week along with two partners after the local authority investigated the sale.
According to a local source, “The land is not owned by the Abbot. It belongs to the government yet he sold it to residents. He arranged the sale with two partners, a retired police officer and a layperson that works at the monastery. Now they’re all in prison.”
Despite the arrests those who bought the land have not received any of their money back, according to the source.
One prospective buyer said, “Some of the land was cheaper because it’s outside the town. It was only 600,000 Kyat for 2400 square feet. Part of it is in a better location near the road so it was more expensive. I though about buying some but I didn’t. I’m lucky because if I had bought it I would have lost money.”
Many people fear the abbot as he is associated with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) according to the local source. Phar Chaut Kaung is a vegetarian monastery and DKBA soldiers have been seen inspecting food donated by local people to check it for meat content. Also, the monastery was guarded by DKBA soldiers before the abbot’s arrest. Now they are gone and security has been left to the monks.
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