Dear all friends in the UK,
We are writing to appeal you to join demonstration outside Burmese Embassy in London on Monday.
You may already aware of the recent brutal assault to the respectable monks including Venerable U Uttara and U Pyin Nya in Yangon.
All arrested monks were forcibly disrobed and sent to notorious Insein Prison. This is tragic news for everyone in the Burmese community in UK.
Please join and stand up for the monks who were illegally arrested by Burmese authorities in Yangon, Burma/Myanmar.
Release All Buddhist Monks Now!
14 June 2014
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) earnestly calls for Burmese government to release Venerable U Uttara and all Buddhist monks immediately and unconditionally who have been forcefully and unlawfully disrobed, arrested and imprisoned in Burma.
On 10 June 2014, the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is very saddened to learn that Burmese police forces are raiding the “Maharthandithukha” monastery to forcefully evict monks from there including U Uttara of Britain.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) truly believe that it is the unlawful, illegal and unjust action taken by U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government on Buddhist monks.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) warns that it is the very wrong-doing of “Ma-Ha-Na” and U Thein Sein quasi-civilian government which will provoke serious consequences.
Monks are Imprisoned
On 13 June 2014, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is very concerned about the news that Venerable U Uttara, a leading religious and political leader of Burmese community in UK, and four other monks, who have been detained in Burma are forcefully disrobed to change monkhood to layman and sent to Insein prison.
Venerable U Uttara and a group of monks have been caretaking at Penang Sayadaw’s “Maharthandithukha” monastery when police forces raided arresting them.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) earnestly demands Burmese government to release Venerable U Uttara and Buddhist monks immediately and unconditionally who have been forcefully and unlawfully disrobed, arrested and imprisoned in Burma.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC)
Demonstration Announcement ……
Date: 16 June 2014
Time: 12:00 – 02:00
Place: 19A Charles Street London.
Nearest station: Green park station
Five Buddhist monks from Maha Thandi Thukha monastery in Yangon were disrobed and remanded at Insein prison for offending the religious ruling committee, temple followers said.
The religious dispute came to the head on Tuesday when police, officials from Religious Affairs Ministry and some 250 monks from Yangon Sangha Nayaka Committee raided and shut down the monastery, run by abbot the venerable Penang Sayadaw.
The authorities took some 20 monks into custody.
Sein Maw, the head of Yangon Region Religious Affairs Department, said 15 of 20 detained monks were already released.
The remaining five detainees, including the abbot’s disciple English national Sayadaw U Ottara, have been charged for religious offence under Section 295 (a) 20/90 of the Penal Code.
“Monks have to disrobe themselves if they are tried. I don’t know where they are being held. Fifteen were released after questioning. We have to charge the remaining five. We do not want to harm both sides – the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee (the ruling body for Buddhist monks) and the detained monks. We are obliged to carry out the order of the ruling committee,” said Sein Maw.
Film star Khin Than Nwe, abbot’s disciple, said Tamwe Township police station had informed her about defrocking and remanding the monks.
After witnessing the trial at Tamwe Township Court, a monk U Pamaukkha said: “I asked the court officials whether they were being tried as monks or laymen. I was told they were brought to court after being disrobed. The trial will resume June 20.”
A monk, U Pamaukkha, who visited the trial at Tamwe Township Court said:
“I want to demand that they should be unconditionally released. I also want to urge those Buddhism followers to work together (in securing the release),” said the monk.
The five monks were charged for religious offence even though director Tun Nyunt from the ministry had given assurance on Wednesday that the case would be handled by a highest level body formed by SSMNC.
“Similar cases had been filed in our office and no one was arrested by our office,” said an officer from Tamwe Township police station. “Now, SSMNC has directly filed a lawsuit at the court. Police involvement in the raid was aimed at preventing conflict. Charging five monks after disrobing them is just an alleged report.”
Some people recall that the incident is similar to what happened in 1999 and 2007 under the junta. Some well-educated Buddhist monks were forced to disrobe and put in prison for their anti-government protests.
Meanwhile, public criticism has spread that charging and defrocking the monks without the knowledge of their relatives and giving them no chance to consult with lawyers is tantamount to tampering with the judicial system.
“Any Buddhist monk could be defrocked and sued if they clashed with the government or the SSMNC,” said U Pamaukkha.
The monastery raid occurred when the abbot was on a five-day trip to Japan which began on June 5. The three-storey monastery building was under the care of two monks – U Panyeinda and U Oattara.
The abbot has been disputing with the SSMNC over the ownership of the monastery for more than a decade. The ministry reportedly backs the SSMNC, leading to the raid.
Following the ministry’s press conference on Wednesday, the monks were disrobed and charged.
Mr Uttara, a long-standing member of the chaplaincy service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, had taken a career break to set up a prison chaplaincy and healthcare service in Burma.
Mr Uttara had been in temporary charge of the Mahasantisukha monastery in Rangoon, when police acting on behalf of the state religious authorities stormed the building on Wednesday.
It is understood that the monastery was the subject of a long-running ownership dispute between the monks and the authorities.http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/7633?fb_action_ids=10152212644603182&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B550051218440021%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%255