Asia - Pacific

Myanmar monk arrested over football match

Buddhist abbot holds competition to mark anniversary of insurgent group

Ekip   | 10.04.2017
Myanmar monk arrested over football match


By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar

A leading Buddhist monk was arrested Monday for organizing a youth football competition in the western state of Rakhine, local media reported.

Nanda Saya, the abbot of Mya Tasaung monastery, and his devotee Khine Ni Min were arrested for organizing the match dedicated to the Arakan Army, a Buddhist insurgent group fighting for self-determination in Rakhine.

The football contest was being held in Mrauk-U Township in northern Rakhine state to mark the eighth anniversary of the group.

According to Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service, the pair were arrested following a complaint from a nearby military base.

Citing local police officer Than Phay, the report said they would be prosecuted under the Unlawful Association Act.

The Arakan Army has clashed with government troops in Rakhine and adjacent Chin state, the two poorest regions in Myanmar, and has fought alongside other rebel groups in northern Shan state.

It was among the ethnic forces excluded from a government cease-fire deal in October 2015.

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