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Maggin Monastery sealed-off

by Maung Dee, Mizzima News, November 29, 2007

Rangoon, Burma -- As part of its ongoing onslaught on monks for having led the people's protest in September, a vindictive Burmese military junta rendered a number of monks and novices homeless by sealing a prominent Buddhist monastery in Rangoon 's Thingankyun Township.

The homeless monks and novices were forced to approach the Kaba Aye pagoda for shelter, local residents said.

Following repeated warnings last week and on Wednesday, junta authorities on Thursday at about 4 p.m. sealed-off the Maggin monastery, local residents said. After the monastery was closed, the two senior monks, six novices and two laymen, who lived in the monastery, had to take shelter at the Kaba Aye Pagoda.

"The Maggin monastery was closed down today before 4 p.m. (local time). And the monks and novices have moved to Kaba Aye Pagoda," a local resident, close to the monastery, told Mizzima.

Following the sealing of the monastery, security has been tightened with several security personnel in two military trucks seen positioned around the monastery, locals said.

"The monastery has been sealed-off, and not removed. That means if they [authorities] want they can unseal it and allow the monks to stay. We hope they will give it back once the abbot of the monastery is released," added the local.

The abbot of the Monastery, Sayadaw U Indaka, has been arrested and detained at an unknown location for his involvement in the monk-led protests in September. Following the 'Saffron Revolution', the Maggin monastery, which is also famous for housing HIV/AIDS patients who come to Rangoon for treatment, has been raided four times, and several monks were arrested.

Following the raids, the HIV/AIDS patients have been transferred to Wai Ba Gi infectious hospital in Rangoon 's North Okklapa Township.

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