Monks gather in Sittwe to mark anniversary of boycott

Sep 19, 2008 (DVB), Sittwe monks gathering in the Arakan capital of Sittwe yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of the monk-led Saffron revolution vowed not to give up their fight against the military government.

About 60 monks gathered in Sittwe yesterday to mark the anniversary of the start of the nationwide monks’ boycott of military officials on 18 September 2007.

One of the monks who attended said representatives from monasteries around the town had joined the gatherings, which were held in three different locations in the town, and chanted metta for those who were killed in the protests.

"We marked the anniversary of the monks’ Pattananeikkujana protest in three different locations in Sittwe today to remember those who were killed in the crackdown and to show that we Sittwe monks will keep on with our movement," the monk said.

"We chanted metta today to help our people across the country from falling into dangerous situations."

He also called for unity and cooperation from monks across Burma in their protest against the military government.

The monk added that security had been increased in Sittwe with troops deployed in key positions.

"Security is really tight today , government officials in civilian clothing are closely watching the monasteries while troops are circling around in town on military trucks," he said.

Taunggok National League for Democracy joint secretary U Than Hlaing said authorities had also secured potential flashpoints around the town.

"Barbed wire fences have been put up near important building and positions in town, such as pagoda compounds, at road junctions and near government offices," he said.

U Than Myint of Taung Thar township NLD and Daw Myint Myint Aye of Meikhtila NLD said the security was also tight in their areas, with troops deployed at road junctions.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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