Monday, October 22, 2007

U Obhasa, hunted monk leader, speaks out

The Irrawaddy reports:

A leading monk—one of four being hunted down by the junta—told The Irrawaddy from his hiding place that monk-led demonstrations may resume in Burma in late October, in spite of at least 100 monks killed during pro-democracy demonstrations and about 1,200 monks arrested.

“Our people are in poverty,” said U Obhasa. “How can monks be silent about the real situation in the country?”

“The situation is terrible for monks,” he said. “But we still fight on for the Dhamma. We will resume our activities for Dhamma soon, perhaps in late October. Dhamma (justice) will win over Ad-Dhamma (injustice).”

U Obhasa said life is uprooted, and he moves from safe house to safe house, sometimes daily.

“I have not been able to sleep for weeks,” he said. “Our future is not certain even for the next few hours.”

U Obhasa said many monks are still missing and their whereabouts are unknown.

About 50 nuns were arrested during the junta’s crackdown on the Sangha in Rangoon, which started on September 26. He said he believes reports that some nuns were raped and sexually harassed by soldiers at detention centers.

“The soldiers are very crude,” he said.

Monks and monasteries in Rangoon and other cities remain the military regime’s main target, said U Obhasa.

“If soldiers see a monk in a robe on the street, they will follow the monk,” he said.

I have exclusive interview reports from inside Burma that I will post shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Revolution must come from within, but the deciding factor in this case will be the extent of the international support. What this equates to is he fact that many Burmese will have to put their own lives at great risk by continuing demonstrations in the face of military brutality.

    Keeping the momentum going is the only way to tilt the scales but it's easy to say that from the comfort of another country.


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