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Authority claims monks from Saffron Revolution are Impostors

Narinjara, August 20, 2008

Authority claims monks from Saffron Revolution are Impostors

Rangoon, Burma -- Burmese military authorities in Arakan State produced a video related to last year's Saffron Revolution and presented it on Sunday to senior monks in Sittwe, said an abbot.

The video show was presented by authorities during a typical ceremony to offer food to 18 senior monks at Wai Zanyardar hall in Lawkananda temple in Sittwe.

"During the show, the authority explained to us that the arrested monks in Sittwe and other parts of Burma during the Saffron Revolution were not real monks, but were impostors. They also showed some monks sitting with women and collecting money from people for their person interest," said the abbot.

Many high officials from several government departments and well-known businessmen in Sittwe attended the food offering ceremony on the invitation of the authorities so they could also watch the video.

The abbot said, "I do not know who took the video documentary of the monks, but I suppose some parts of the documentary are not real, and some show phony facts."

Moreover, the abbot said that they "were watching the video completely without any complaint," because the abbots were afraid the authority would take action against them if they asked questions.

During the food offering ceremony, the authority also tried to persuade the abbots to oppose those monks who are preparing to stage demonstrations in Sittwe against the government.

In Sittwe, monks had been preparing to stage demonstrations on 8 and 9 August, but the protests were foiled after authorities received a tip-off
before they could organize in the streets.

Since then, the authority has been deploying many armed forces, including army soldiers and riot police, at key places in Sittwe to prevent any future demonstrations from forming.

Since Sittwe is a city that has had significant anti-government sentiment and protests, it is believed that the video was produced with the intent of persuading monks from Sittwe to not support any demonstrations against the military government.

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