Sittwe: A 29-year-old monk in Arakan has been put under house arrest by authorities for suspicion of leadingthe 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution protests in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State.
The monk, U Kaythara from Pathein Monastery in Sittwe, was forced on 23 September, 2011, by authorities to leave his monastery for a remote monastery in Rathidaung Township, 20 miles north of Sittwe, to be put under house arrest.
A colleague of U Kaythara in Sittwe told Narinjara over the phone yesterday that he is now in Alawdo Pyi Monastery in Kraydawra Pagoda in Rathidaung Township, where he has been put under house arrest.
The authorities and their forces detained and took away Ven. U Kaythara along with two other monks – Pynya Wan Tha and Pandita – around 2 pm on 23 September to a police station in Sittwe from Pathein Monastery.
Minister of Security and Border Affairs of Arakan State, Colonel Htein Lin and Chief of the RegionalMilitary Command, as well as the Vice Commander of the Western Command Lieutenant Colonel Myo Min Swe were said to have led forces to detain the Buddhist monks from the monastery.
The monks said that the other two arrested monks were released and sent back to the monastery in the evening, while U Kaytara was detained and sent to the monastery in Rathidaung Township.
Another monk from a nearby monastery also confirmed that U Kaythara was arrested by authorities on suspicion of celebrating the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution movement.
“Ven. U Kaythara led the monks to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Ven. U Ottama Day in Sittwe and it is being learnt that he was arrested by authorities on a tip that the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Movementwould be activated and commemorated as well,” said another monk from the monastery.
On the 72nd anniversary of Ven. U Ottama Day in Sittwe on 9 September, 2011, about 300 monks from several monasteries in Sittwe marched to the Ottama monument and garden to honor Ottama for his sacrifice for Burmese independence from British rule.
The abbot of the monastery, however, said that U Kaythara was sent to the other monastery by authorities for security reasons, and dismissed reports that he has been placed under arrest and held in an unknown location.
“He is not under arrest, but he has been sent to the other place because of some security reasons. He may have some problem if he stayed here in the monastery and it would not be good for me to tell what kind of problem he may face or where he is now,” said the abbot.
A youth political activist also said that is possible that U Kaythara was detained and is now under house arrest because authorities are worried he would lead the monks in Sittwe to observe the 4th anniversary of the SaffronRevolution protests in Sittwe.
News is spreading in Sittwe that U Kaythara has been arrested by authorities for leading the monks in a procession and commemorating Ven. U Ottama on the 72nd anniversary of his death at the memorial park and for concerns that similar activities would be carried out on the coming anniversary of the monk-led movementthat is popularly known as the Saffron Revolution.