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Authorities restrict full moon day celebrations

Nov 26, 2007 (DVB), About 800 people attended full moon day celebrations on Saturday at Maggin monastery in Thingangyun township, despite some restrictions imposed by the Burmese authorities.

Those who attended the full moon day celebrations, which were held from 8am to 1pm, included National League for Democracy members, veteran politicians and political activists, as well as members of the public.

However, the celebrations did face some restrictions from the authorities.

The night before the celebrations, special police force captain San Tun visited the monastery and made a list of the people who would be attending.

On the day, soldiers from battalion 66, which was involved in the crackdown on protestors in Rangoon in September, were placed around Kyaik Kasan pagoda near the monastery.

Police, fire brigade officers and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association were also providing security at the celebrations.

Those who brought offerings of food were not allowed to cook on the premises as usual but had to prepare the dishes before they came to the event.

Maggin monastery, which provides care for people with HIV and AIDS, was raided by security forces on 3 October, and was left empty and locked up.

It was re-opened the following week and some of the eight monks and lay people who were arrested in the raid were released at around the same time.

Reporting by DVB


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