Monastic Council Restores Status of Released Monks
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Monastic Council Restores Status of Released Monks

By LIN THANT / THE IRRAWADDY Thursday, February 2, 2012

U Gambira after he was released on Jan. 13, 2012. (Photo: BJ Stuart)

The official body that governs Buddhist monastic affairs in Burma has restored the status of three monks who were released from prison last month after serving more than four years behind bars for their involvement in the 2007 Saffron Revolution.

The state-controlled Maha Nayaka Sangha Council made the decision on Wednesday after the three monks, who were among dozens detained for taking part in massive demonstrations in September 2007, applied for official recognition of their status on Jan. 27.

The monks said they made the request as a preliminary step toward reopening their monasteries, which have been closed since their arrest.

“I applied for permission to reopen my monastery yesterday after the council officially recognized my status as a monk,” said U Pandavansa, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

The three monks—including U Indaka, the abbot of Maggin Monastery in Rangoon's Thingangyun Township, one of the focal points of the 2007 protests—were told that the monasteries could be reopened within a week.

Recently several monks were reprimanded by local authorities for entering the padlocked Maggin Monastery.

U Gambira, another prominent monk who was released on Jan. 13 along with hundreds of other political prisoners, said he hasn't responded yet to a notification from the Maha Nayaka Sangha Council informing him that he needs to officially restore his monastic status, although he said may do so after Feb. 3.

“We are monks. We were arrested illegally,” he said, speaking to The Irrawaddy. He added that he would accept the council's decisions if they are “fair according to the rules of Buddhism.”

Meanwhile, a planned ordination ceremony for around 20 other formerly imprisoned monks at Magwe Monastery in Rangoon was called off after the Maha Nayaka Sangha Council expressed concern that the event would be too politicized.

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Sai Lin Kan Wrote:
Hi Kerry, That's why General created Sanga Regime. So the Military regime can order senior Monks from Maha Nayaka Sanga Council to oppresses Monks who against them behalf of Military regime.

The problem is senior monks who are foolishly fallen into trap of Than Shwe.
That's why Thamanya Sayadaw Phayagyi stays away from dirty fox Than Shwe and his cronies when he was alive.

We can't tell current Government is democratically elected Government and actual Thein Sein Government is Military regime disguised in civil clothes.

We don’t even know who is actually governing Burma.

Sai Lin Wrote:
Than Shwe had created Sanga Regime with Maha Nayaka Sanga Council for to oppress Monks involvement in Burmese politic. Senior Monks from Sanga Nayaka Council have been floured with luxury goods and foods by Military regime. I couldn't believe Senior Monks have been using as political tool by Than Shwe and his cronies.

These three monks did nothing wrong and I have more respected and admired for these three monks than senior monks from Maha Nayaka Sanga Council.

I’ll say Buddhism in Burma has corrupted by Than Shwe legacy. Now it’s time to wake up Sayadaw Phaya from Maha Nayaka Sanga Council.
Did should happen in Buddhist country like Burma?

kerry Wrote:
And so they should.

The military should have no jurisdiction over monks, beyond civil law - which is applicable to ALL.

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