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Burma Hands Eleven Monks to Bangladesh

Narinjara, Dec 13, 2007

Maungdaw, Myanmar -- On Tuesday Burma's border security force, Nasaka, handed over eleven monks of Bangladeshi origin who had been studying Buddhism in Burma to Bangladesh authorities at the Maungdaw border point, said a monk from Cox's Bazar.

The monk said that the eleven monks were sent to their villages by the Bangladesh border authorities soon after they arrived in Teknaf, opposite Burma's Maungdaw town.

All the monks are about 20 years old and are from several villages in Chittagong Hill Tract in Bangladesh.

A border source said that the young monks had been forced to stay for at least a month in Myoma monastery in Maungdaw as Nasaka authorities would not issue permission to cross the border.

Border security finally allowed them to cross the border after senior monks made a statement to the authorities that they were not involved in the recent monk-led demonstrations.

According to a local authority source, about 50 monks so far have returned to Bangladesh from Burma after Burmese military authorities banned monks from studying in the monasteries in Burma.

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