Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Capital cracks down on fake monks, nuns

A crackdown on those falsely soliciting donations led authorities to take action against 19 people posing as members of the Buddhist order – eight monks, four nuns, six novices and one yogi – in Zabuthiri township earlier this month, a local religious affairs officer told The Myanmar Times.

The eight monk impersonators were turned over to the police at the order of senior monk U Kavainda, chair of the township Sangha Nayaka Committee.

On October 18, the committee cracked down on fake solicitors, noting that the fraudulent antics could reflect poorly on Buddhism. Teams of 11 members, including police and government officials, were formed and led by monks.

On October 20, they went to Myoma Market, where if someone in robes was asking for money, the Buddhist representatives would ask them a series of questions related to Buddhism.

“Some monks could not name the four offences that merit disrobing,” U Hla Min said.

If they failed to adequately answer the questions, they were forced to change into garb indicative of the laity. The crackdown was repeated at the Thapyaygone Market on October 23. The teams will continue their checks weekly throughout the lunar month.

The bogus monks have been charged under section 295 of the penal code, covering insult to religion.

Translation by Thiri Min Htun