Sermons cancelled in North Okkalapa

Dec 27, 2007 (DVB), Government officials in North Okkalapa township, Rangoon, have cancelled at short notice sermons due to be given by five abbots, according to a township resident.

A Buddhist sermon session was due to be held in the community religious hall of ward (I) on the evening of 25 December, but officials turned up at a sermon being given by abbot U Kawthala and said it could not go ahead.

They also announced that sermons by four other abbots would be cancelled.

A local resident said that many people had come to listen to the sermons.

"There were about three or four thousand people in the audience who had come to listen to the sermons," he said.

"They all left in disappointment after hearing the sessions had been cancelled."

Monks' sermons, which are often recorded and sold on the streets of Rangoon, have become increasingly critical of the government following the regime's brutal treatment of protestors and monks during the September demonstrations.

Sales of the recordings have gone up since the protests, and sermons available on the internet have also been popular.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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