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Monk responds to government accusations

Oct 8, 2007 (DVB), State-run newspaper the New Light of Myanmar has published its own account of raids on monasteries by government security forces, including allegations of items recovered in the raids.

Burmese authorities blamed some monks, along with 88 generation students and "bogus monks", for fomenting unrest and threatening monks who did not participate in the recent mass demonstrations in Burma. The paper also denounced foreign media, which it accused of misinformation and fabricating stories about the deaths of monks during the protests.

The article defended security officers who had rounded up all the monks during the monastery raids, claiming that they were unable to distinguish between the real monks and imposters and so had to arrest everyone.

Among the items that had reportedly been found during the raids were alcohol, pornographic and sexual materials, women's clothing, anti-government literature and a variety of weapons.

U Gambira, a spokesperson for the People’s Movement Leader Committee, dismissed the claims.

"People of Burma and the whole world know whether these accusations being made about monks by the junta are really true or not. Monks are peaceful people and we don’t need to give any answer to the government’s claims as everyone knows the truth. But still, I would like to say this is a very bad thing the [Burmese government] has done," he said.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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