Sympathisers from across Burma have been flocking to the Aung Theikdi Buddhist monastery in Pegu Division since news spread that 144 families were sheltering there after their homes were bulldozed and demolished.
Donors and well-wishers, including several high-profile activists such as former students leader Moe Thee Zun, have been offering relief supplies and aid to the families who have been sheltering at the monastery since 4 February when their homes were demolished in nearby Hlegu Township which falls under the jurisdiction of neighbouring Rangoon Division authorities who deemed them illegal squatters.
According to a DVB reporter at the scene, the 144 were informally offered resettlement on Wednesday by the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (formerly Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) who are based in Sonesee Myaing in eastern Burma’s Karen State where a new town is currently under construction.
The villagers apparently refused the offer although the DKBA showed up on Wednesday with 10-wheel trucks ready to transport them to the new location. A spokesperson for the families said they refused the offer because they have children who must attend important exams at the end of this month.
There were initially more than 400 families sheltering at the monastery, but local authorities ordered families without students sitting exams to move to a local Dharma Centre.