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Senior Buddhist Monk Arrested in Rangoon

by Terry Evans, The Buddhist Channel, September 8, 2008

Rangoon, Burma -- A senior Buddhist monk was arrested in Rangoon on Friday after security forces raided his monastery, according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners—Burma (AAPP).

Military intelligence officers raided the monastery in the early hours of Friday morning and arrested the 58-year-old monk named U Thilawontha.

There is increased vigilance over Buddhist monasteries in Rangoon and several other cities across the country. Sources in central Burma said the authorities have tried to force abbots of monasteries to sign a pledge not to allow its monks from leading any kind of anti-government protests.

Buddhist monks led mass protests in September last year after the government suddenly hiked fuel prices. As the protests gained momentum the military conducted midnight raids in several key monasteries across the country, beating, killing and arresting thousands of monks.

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