Monks fear government raids on monasteries

Oct 3, 2007 (DVB), Monks in the Magwe division town of Pakokku have been taking part in night watches to protect their monasteries from raids by soldiers.

"We have been taking turns to guard our monastery at night for five days already. In some wards, people from the local neighborhood are also joining in night watches to help the monks. We are living in fear as we don’t know when the raid will happen," said an unnamed monk.

Young men in Mandalay division’s Moegok township have also been volunteering for night-guard duties at local monasteries to prevent the monks from being arrested by authorities and soldiers in midnight raids.

"Youths in many wards in Moegok are guarding local monasteries to prevent monks from getting detained by authorities. . . They have about 50 youths guarding each monastery at night. Everyone has been asked to come and gather at the monasteries to protect monks when they are alerted to any suspicious characters during night," said a Moegok resident.

Reporting by Aye Nai and DVB

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