Bilin monks boycott government officials

Nov 25, 2008 (DVB), Monks in Bilin township, Mon state, decided during a recent meeting to launch a boycott against government officials and supporters by refusing alms from them and not performing religious rites in their homes.

The monks, who are led by the abbots of Kyauktalone-taung, Three Pagodas and Kaylatha-taung monasteries, could not be reached for comment.

But Aye Myint, a lawyer from Bago and leader of the Guiding Star legal aid group, recently visited the area and heard about the boycott.

Aye Myint said he had found out about the protest when his relatives had asked the monks to perform a religious rite at their home.

"It was only when they told the abbots that they were from the authorities that the monks agreed to come to the house," Aye Myint said.

"They also spoke to me because they found out that I was Aye Myint of Guiding Star," he said.

"They are boycotting the officials because they are still feeling aggrieved by the arrests and imprisonment of monks."

U Thuriya, the abbot of Kinywa monastery, told Aye Myint that the monks had decided not to perform religious rites at the homes of ward, village or township chairs, civil servants or members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association.

The abbot said the decision had been taken in protest at the public humiliation of monks during last year's Saffron Revolution and at the recent sentencing of monks.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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