The Buddhist Monks of Burma Have "Vanished"

The brave Buddhist monks of Burma have vanished since the crackdown by the junta on the democracy protests in September.

Zayar took this photo of the thousands of monks marching in the Hledan area of Rangoon back in September. (BBC)

United Press International reported that the Buddhist monks in Burma have vanished:

YANGON, Myanmar, Nov. 26 (UPI) — Thousands of Buddhist monks, a fixture in Myanmar’s monasteries and temples, have vanished in the wake of the September crackdown by the military junta.

A report in the Dec. 3 issue of Newsweek says the few foreigners, who managed to visit the country since September, have noted how empty these places look in cities like Yangon, formerly Rangoon, and Mandalay.

“What has happened to all the monks?” Shari Villarosa, charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, was quoted as asking. “It’s frightening. Something has happened. It’s not like they all willingly left town.”

The crackdown by the military junta, which has ruled Myanmar, formerly Burma, since 1989, began after pro-democracy protests were taken over by the monks. The junta’s action led to the deaths and injuries of dozens of monks.

The report, quoting numerous sources, said some the monks, who were imprisoned, were kept in deplorable conditions. Others were forcibly “derobed” and made to flee to the countryside or out of the country.

This might be one explanation…
Combat training is being held in monastery compounds.


The monks claim that the junta raided over 60 monasteries and brutally beat hundreds of monks leading to several deaths.

The UN this week called for a halt in the political arrests in Myanmar (Burma).

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