A monk renowned for helping those struggling with addiction was murdered by an unidentified group in his monastery in Mandalay’s Kyaukpadaung township, which lies on the border of Magway Region, on March 25.
Photos show that the bodies of Sayartaw Tayzanira, aka the Yone Htaung monk, and his kappiya, or lay manciple, were burned within the monastery after the killing.
“The assailants also set fire to the monastery. Sayartaw’s body was burned where he slept,” a friend of the monk said.
The reason behind the assassinations is unclear, yet sources speculated to the RiSE News outlet that the renowned forest monk had been constructing a Buddha image dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, of whom he was a supporter.
Locals claim that over 500,000 people had been helped to overcome drug and alcohol addictions after following the teachings of the Yone Htaung Sayartaw.
“He welcomes many visitors [to his monastery]. He helps everyone. Some who had recovered from drug addiction even donated cars to him, and he donated back to local charity groups and monasteries. I have no idea who killed someone like him,” said another Kyaukpadaung resident.