Monday, December 17, 2012

Govt apologizes to Buddhist monks for Monywa incident

Monday, 17 December 2012 11:06 Mizzima News

Burmese President's Office Minister Hla Tun and other officials visited injured monks in hospital in Mandalay on Saturday and offered an official government apology for the violent crackdown at the Monywa copper mine site on November 29.

Buddhist monks demonstrate near the bronze statue of Bogyoke Aung San in Monywa on Saturday, December 8. The monks called on the government to apologize for the violent crackdown at the Latpadaung copper mine site on November 29. (Photo: Ye  Min / Mizzima)

According to Burma’s state-run press, Hla Tun was accompanied by Minister for Health Dr Pe Thet Khin, Chief Minister of Mandalay Region Ye Myint, Chief Minister of Sagaing Region Tha Aye, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Police Maj- Gen Kyaw Kyaw Tun and departmental heads.

The government delegation also met senior Burmese monks and made cash donations at the general hospital in Chanayethazan Township.

“On arrival at the operation ward-1 and operation ward-2 of the hospital, they paid respects to members of the Sangha [Buddhist monkhood] and lay persons receiving medical treatment and were briefed by the acting medical superintendent on provision of health care services. They then attended to the needs,” said The New Light of Myanmar, adding that 15 monks were at the hospital alongside four laypersons who were injured in the violence.

“The Union Minister and party proceeded to Kandaw Nadi hospital in Chanmyathazi Township and paid respects to warded members of the Sangha and attended to their needs.

“Altogether eight members of the Sangha are still at the hospital,” the report said.

In the afternoon, the ministers attended a ceremony at Maha Atulawaiyan monastery where they made a formal apology to senior abbots and Sangha committee members.

Hla Tun reportedly said that he was deeply touched by the plight of members of the Sangha who sustained burns in the copper mine protest incident, and pledged “to fulfill the requirements’ of the injured monks.

“He continued that being a Buddhist, he felt every unhappy to see the injured members of the Sangha, and accordingly he on behalf of the government humbly made apology in the presence of the Sayadaws [abbots],” the report said.

He confirmed that an investigation commission headed by Aung San Suu Kyi had been formed “to seek the most appropriate answer” to the incident.

“And he humbly requested the Sayadaws to give a helping hand in line with the Dhamma so that the incident can be prevented from [going from] bad to worse,” The New Light of Myanmar said.

The senior monks are reported to have accepted the formal apology.

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