Military raids monastery in Sagaing in bid to capture protest leader monk

The junta’s forces raided a monastery in Sagaing Region’s Yinmarbin township on Saturday afternoon in search of a monk who has led anti-coup protests in the area. 

Soldiers destroyed a bamboo building in the compound and confiscated 20 computers that were being used to teach students IT skills during the raid at Thabyay Aye village.

The monk they were searching for, Thaw Pa Ka, was not at the monastery at the time. 

“The compound is covered with military boot prints,” Thaw Pa Ka told Myanmar Now. “A load of them showed up and started searching the place, even in the toilets.” 

They also searched through boxes where novice monks kept their belongings, he added.  

Thaw Pa Ka took part in the Saffron Revolution in 2007. He has lived in Thabyay Aye for about 10 years.

Saturday’s raid was the second time this month that the regime’s forces have tried to capture the monk. On April 2, soldiers surrounded the village to arrest him, but locals fought back with homemade rifles.

Four villagers were killed in the clash. Locals said the military also suffered casualties.

Seventeen trucks full of soldiers arrived at the village for the second raid on Friday. 

At least six people were killed earlier this week during clashes elsewhere in Yinmarbin. 

The military is trying to intimidate people in the area into handing over their guns, a resident of Yar Gyi village in the nearby township of Kani said.

“They’ve been going around, warning people to turn in the rifles,” the resident said. “It should be them turning in their weapons – weapons they bought with our taxes to kill us. There’s no reason for us to turn in our homemade rifles.”

Tens of thousands of people from over 30 villages in the two townships have fled their homes in recent weeks after soldiers set up camp in the area. 


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