Monks warned against protesting

Nov 1, 2007 (DVB), Following yesterday's peaceful demonstration in Pakokku, local authorities have urged monks not to go ahead with any further protests, according to a local monk.

Township authorities summoned the monastery administrators from about five high-profile monasteries and told them to urge the monks not to not to continue with their protests, according to an unnamed monk.

The monks themselves were not invited to attend the meeting.

"The meeting lasted about an hour and the township authorities told the monastery administrators to tell us not to continue with the protests," said the monk.

The local authorities did not say if any action would be taken against the monks if they continued to demonstrate.

Around 200 monks from several monasteries in Pakokku joined the demonstration yesterday, which they said was a continuation of the protests held in August and September.

Security forces did not intervene in yesterday's demonstration, and those involved have not so far faced any repercussions from the authorities.

One monk who took part in the march told DVB yesterday that there would be more and larger protests in the future, as their demands for lower commodity prices, national reconciliation and the release of political prisoners had still not been met.

"We did not have much time to organise the protest as we did not actually plan for it, so there weren't a lot of monks. But there will be bigger and more organised protests soon," the monk said.

By Naw Say Phaw

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