Thursday, 2 October 2008

Swan Ahr Shin and Police Support Sittwe Monks


(Narinjara)-Members of Swan Ahr Shin, the police, and the riot police have supported the anti-government movement led by monks in Sittwe because they are suffering the same difficulties in their daily lives, said monk leader Rakhaputta in Sittwe.

He said, "We received not only the people's support, but also the support of members of Swan Ahr Shin, riot police, and the police force for our movement at present, because they are unable to tolerate the economic hardship of their daily lives under the current military government."

People in Sittwe typically support the monk led demonstrations against the military government, but members of Swan Ahr Shin and riot police have never in the past supported the anti-government demonstrations.

Rakhaputta, who is now leading monks in Sittwe, said yesterday over the phone, "Our movement against the military government is still going on without any disturbances by the authorities because we received information from officials from those groups about how the authority plans to crack down on our movement." (this is what I call infiltrating the enemy)

He added that members of Swan Ahr Shin are also members of the public and they are suffering like everyone else. "They are in the same boat, so they understand the current situation of Burma and support our movement," he said.

Swan Ahr Shin was formed by the government with retired soldiers and police, local supporters of the government, and criminals, in order to attack people and monks when they lead anti-government activities anywhere in Burma.

During last year's Saffron Revolution, members of Swan Ahr Shin along with the police and riot police attacked many democratic and human rights activists. The authority placed Swan Ahr Shin at the forefront of the crackdown on the democracy movement in Burma.

The monk said, "You can see there have not been activities by Swan Ahr Shin this year, because they do not want to support the government again. In Sittwe, there are some members of Swan Ahr Shin but they are very close with the monks right now because they understand why monks are attempting to stage demonstrations as well as who the demonstrations are for."

The authority is still beefing up security in Sittwe after the anniversary of the Saffron Revolution has passed because there are rumors that monks in Sittwe are secretly preparing to stage demonstrations to demand the release of all monks who were detained after last year's protests.

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