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Regime confirms military killed senior monk; Sitagu Sayadaw calls on clergy to forgive and forget

Regime confirms military killed senior monk

Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun confirmed Friday that the military fired at a vehicle and killed Sayadaw Bhaddanta Munindabhivamsa, 77, a member of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee in Ngazun Township of Mandalay Region on June 19. 

“I have learned that the security forces attempted to stop the vehicle. They fired into the air. When the vehicle overtook the security forces, it was fired upon from behind,” Zaw Min Tun told regime media.

The driver and a passenger, who is also a monk, were injured. He shared details about the incident to members of his monastery. “Our driver passed the [military] vehicle, and then they shot at us,” he said. 

Sitagu Sayadaw calls on clergy to forgive and forget

Ashin Nyanissara, the prominent Buddhist monk known as Sitagu Sayadaw and founder of the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy, visited Win Nein Mi Tar Yon Monastery on Saturday.  

“Show forgiveness and forget this. And please hold your anger,” he said. Another prominent Buddhist monk, Sayadaw Min Thonya, called on Burma’s 300,000 monks and 60,000 nuns to object to the military regime in Naypyidaw. 

He claimed that 52 monks have been killed by the military since the 2021 coup. The body of Sayadaw Bhaddanta Munindabhivamsa, who had spent 57 years as a Buddhist monastic, is at Win Nein Mi Tar Yon Monastery in Bago Region. His funeral will be held on June 27.  

Rice to be sold at affordable rates starting today

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) stated that it will sell rice at affordable rates starting Monday. The announcement was made after the military arrested MRF President Ye Min Aung, as well as rice traders and millers from Yangon and Ayeyarwady regions.

“This scheme is limited as they will only sell it at two places with a lower price. It won’t really be helpful to most people, as many have been struggling with high food prices nationwide,” said an anonymous source from the Myanmar Rice Miller Association (MRMA).

The MRF will sell a  sack of rice, which contains 24 baskets, at a price ranging from 72,000-14,5000 kyat ($22-44 USD). This is lower than the prices set by the MRMA at the Bayintnaung and Wahdan rice depots in Yangon.

News by Region

Students outside of a school operated by the Gangaw Township Education Board in Magway Region. (Credit: CJ)

MAGWAY—The Gangaw Township Education Board, which operates under the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Education, claimed that more than 17,000 students will be studying at over 98 schools in Gangaw during the 2024-25 academic year.

The 98 schools will open on June 3 and run with the assistance of 1,600 volunteers and 534 Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) teachers, who have refused to work under the regime’s education system since the 2021 coup..  

“We have to open schools with extra caution as the military continues to conduct airstrikes,” said Nyein Thura, the spokesperson of the Gangaw Township Education Board. A CDM teacher added that there are not enough textbooks for the 17,000 incoming students. 

KARENNI—The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) announced that resistance forces control over 90 percent of the state on June 21 – the 149th anniversary of Karenni National Day.

“Despite current challenges, the revolutionary spirit of the Karenni National Defense Forces will persist in the pursuit of self-determination.” the KNPP stated. The NUG sent a message of support to the Karenni resistance. 

SHAN—Three civilians were killed and five others were injured, including three children, by artillery in Bamauk and Linkan villages of Pinlaung Township on June 21-22. “One of the children is in critical condition,” said a Bamauk resident. Fighting between the Karenni resistance and the military has intensified in southern Pinlaung since June 18.   

ARAKAN—Approximately 1,200 education workers in the state were ordered by the regime to relocate to Magway, Bago, and Ayeyarwaddy regions. “It would be impossible for us to work there due to language barriers,” a teacher from Ponnagyun Township told DVB. Civil servants have been told to relocate to ensure their own safety. Teachers complained that if they refuse to relocate they may face dismissal.

Three residents of Ann Township, including two children, were killed and another two were injured by an airstrike on June 20. “A military jet dropped two bombs on the village. Two minors and a young man died at the same place. They were all siblings and the bombs dropped on their house,” an Ann resident told DVB. The AA launched its offensive against the military on Nov. 13. It has seized control of nine towns in Arakan and one in southern Chinland.

Read: Two factions of the Chin resistance fight for control of Matupi

Watch: World Refugee Day 2024 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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