Saffron Monk U Kawvida Closely Watched after Release from Prison Skip to main content

Saffron Monk U Kawvida Closely Watched after Release from Prison

Narinjara News

Yangoon: The authorities have been closely watching Ven. U Kawvida who was the former chairman of the government backed Thinga Council ( Monk Council) in the Eastern Township of New Dagon in Rangoon. He was then involved as a leader in the monk-led demonstration known as the Saffron Revolution, and has since been released from Tharat Prison as part of the presidential general amnesty.

Saffron-Monk-U-Kawvida-&-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi Saffron Monk U Kawvida with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Ven. U Kawvida said thst authority forces including the Special Branch of Police (SB), Military Intelligence (MI) accompanied by village administrators have been coming to his monastery to watch his movements since he was released from the prison.

“I am sure that [the authority forces] are closely watching me. The SB came to my monastery yesterday and interrogated other monks in the monastery about me and the day before yesterday the MI accompanied by the village administrators also visited my monastery to inquire about me”, he said.

He said he was being watched by the authority forces as he has been continuing his Buddhist monkhood since he was released from the prison despite the fact that the authority had forcibly disrobed him before he was imprisoned due to his involvement in the Saffron Revolution.

“I have been continuing my Buddhist monkhood since I was released from the prison and I have come to know that they are inquiring about me to find out if I am living in accordance with the disciplines that a monk must keep or not”, he said.

Ven. U Kawvida said that a Buddhist monk could not be removed from his monkhood just by the act of taking his robe off forcibly without his own consent and willingness, so he has adorned himself with the robe again and is upholding his monkhood in accordance with Vinaya, the disciplines for a monk.

He was arrested on the 29th of September 2007 from Takkathilar Maha Padipadan Monastery in East Dagon and forced to disrobe at the office of the home ministry.

“They had forced me to disrobe by the order of the king or ruler, I argued I wanted to disrobe myself but eventually I let them remove my robe because it would not be wise for me to continue to argue with them, as they had assaulted me since my arrest from the monastery. As my robe was forcibly taken off by them, nothing affected my monkhood and I lived as a monk in the prison as well though I was unable to wear my robe there”, he said.

The venerable monk said he has been suffering from diabetes since he was locked in the prison and has to regularly consult physicians about his disease. He was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in jail by the kangaroo court in Insein Prison in October 2008 after being detained in prison for nearly a year without trial.

“The kangaroo court in Insein Prison sentenced me to jail without letting a defense lawyer act for me, nor were my relatives allowed to attend the hearing of my case and I did not get a year reduction from my prison terms as declared by the president”, said the venerable monk.

Ven. U Kawvida is a native of Pauktaw Township in Arakan State and was released from the Tharat Prison under the general amnesty of the president after he completed a total term of 4 years and 1 month in the prison.


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