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Monks kept away from rice donation

Oct 25, 2007 (DVB), The annual rice donation ceremony in Magwe division is to go ahead with some restrictions, despite local authorities' earlier concerns that monks would boycott the event.

The rice donation has been held annually for the past five years to mark the end of Buddhist lent, and has always been a popular event, but local authorities were worried that this year monks would refuse to accept alms from government supporters.

The local Peace and Development Council refused to organise the ceremony, so it will now be planned by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and its local offices.

Township authorities still appear cautious about the event, which will be widely publicised, and have issued restrictions on monks attending in an apparent attempt to prevent large groups of monks assembling.

Only one monk from each monastery will be invited to the ceremony to receive the donations. The rest of the alms will be taken to the monks at their monasteries.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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