Second arrest, villager taken in connection to arrested of monk

Independent Mon News Agency
THURSDAY, 14 JANUARY 2010 14:26

A villager in Chaungzone township has been arrested for potential connections to a monk arrested and torture last week by forces from the Burmese military government.

On Monday January 11th, authorities arrested a villager, Ko Aung Min, from Mudoon village, Chaungzone Township, on suspicion of connection to the previously arrested monk, Ashin Uk Kong Sah. The monk was arrested on January 7th near Thanphyuzayart town, Mon State.

While Ko Aung Min is known to be a friend of Ashin, according to villagers, no one who knows how his arrest is linked with Ashin’s. According to a friend of Ko Aung Min, he was 27 years old, and had returned from Malaysia 2 to 3 months ago to go find work in South Korea. Because of this, the friend explains, Aung Min could not be related in anyway to the arrest of Ashin. Ko Aung Min is reported to have done assorted manual labor based jobs in Malaysia, such as paining buildings.

“Ko Aung Min is only interested in business and mostly just stays in his village,” the friend said. “The authorities told him when they arrested him that his arrest was related with Ashin. Ashin could be connected with politics, but it is not concern with him [Ko Aung Min].” It is unclear weather Ko Aung Min has since been tortured, or where he is currently being detained.

The arrest was carried out by 10 people from the police and members of several community organizations, such as members of the fire brigade, at about 9:30 AM on Jan 11th . Ko Aung Min was arrested at home, according to a source close to relatives who were eyewitnesses.

The monk, Ashin Uk Kong Sah, was arrested at about 2:30 PM on Jan 7th at Kjan Khaing Ye quarter, Thanphyuzayart Town, according to source close to an eyewitness. During his arrest, the police seized a laptop computer, a video camera, and 4 leaflets against the upcoming 2010 election.

According to friend of Ashin, the monk is 28 years old, and had been staying at Aung Zeya Pariyatti monastery in Naing Hlone village, Mudon Township as a lecturer, and lived at the monastery for about 5 years.

After arresting Ashin, about 30 police and forces from civil service organizations occupied the monastery and seized additional equipment and documents attributed to him. On the weekend of January 10th Ashin was transferred to Rangoon after he returned from the hospital for sustaining significant injuries during torture by SPDC forces.

According to a monastery donor who attends the Aung Zeya Pariyatti monastery, the authorities have closed the building where the Ashing lived, and forbidden anyone from entering. Since the arrest and seizer of items, the monastery has been very closely watched.

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