‘Sayadaw (Abbot) Ashin Sandar Dika and Sayadaw (Abbot) Yawainwe-Innma were injured on Thursday at about 6 pm when the temple lift suddenly dropped,’ an official from the Bawdi Ta Htaung monastery said.
The Bawdi Tahtaung monastery in Monywa, 136 kilometres north-west of Mandalay, is famous for its 130 metre-high Buddha statue that was completed in 2007.
The monks were inspecting the stature in a maintenance lift, witnesses said.
The cause of the failure of lift was still unknown and was under investigation, sources said.
‘The two abbots are now in a hospital in Mandalay with leg injuries,’ said a monastery source, who asked to remain anonymous.
Ashin Sandar Dika and Yawainwe-Innma are well-known monks in Myanmar who have published many books on society and religion.
The accident was the second temple-related mishap within a week.
On 30 May, the Danok Pagoda, situated in Dalla township across the Yangon River from the former capital, collapsed, killing at least two people on the spot and injuring dozens of others.
The historic Danok Pagoda, which was damaged by Cyclone Nargisin May 2008, was under renovation. On May 7 Kyaing Kyaing, the wife of Myanmar’s military chief General Than Shwe, had conducted a religious ceremony at the temple.
In superstitous Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, such accidents are widely deemed inauspicious for the ruling regime.
The two accidents come at a time of rising tensions between the junta and anti-military activists.
The regime opened a new case on May 11 against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for allegedly breaking the terms of her house detention by allowing US national John William Yettaw, a Mormon, to swim to her lakeside home-cum-prison on May 3 and stay, uninvited, for two nights.
If found guilty, Suu Kyi, 63, faces a minimum of three and maximum of five years in jail. The Nobel Peace Prize laurate has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest.
The new case against Suu Kyi, who leads the opposition National League for Democracy has outraged world leaders, prompting US President Barack Obama last week to call the proceeding a ‘show trial based on spurious charges.’
Lift accident in upper Burma injures eight
by Mizzima News
Friday, 05 June 2009 16:51
Eight people, including prominent Buddhist abbots Ashin Sandar Dihka and Ashin Yawainwe, have been injured in a lift accident at the Bodhi Tathaung Monastery in Upper Burma.
A lift in the Bodhi Tathaung Monastery in the town of Monywa in Sagaing Division broke and fell from a height of 20 feet, injuring Ashin Sandar Dihka – abbot of Shweparmitawra, Ashin Yawainwe, a monk from Bodhi Tathaung Monastery and five civilians – all of whom were on the lift at the time of the accident.
The injured were reportedly taken to Mandalay Hospital where they are receiving treatment.
“The lift is mainly used for work purposes, carrying goods. We seldom use the lift. It happened because the lift was being used with a motor. They went in the lift to climb up to the top of the pagoda,” a monk from Bodhi Tathaung Monastery told Mizzima.