Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nationalist Monk Shin Wirathu’s Kachin State Tour (1)

(Translations of news articles direct from Ah-Shin Wirathu’s Blog in October 2013.)

Globally Famous Burmese Nationalist-Buddhist monk Shin Wirathu started his well publicised trip to nominally-Christian Kachin State by flying to Bamaw from Mandalay and arriving there at about 2 pm on October-22.

From his Ma Soe Yein Teaching Monastery in Mandalay he was planning to travel in planes and cars and boats to Myitkyinar at least 500 miles away.

His plan was to cover almost every town and every large village on his way from Bamaw to Myitkyinar the Kachin State Capital at the end of very dangerous Bamaw-Myitkyinar unsealed-dirt-Road.

He was flying to the Buddhist-Town Bamaw first and then travelling by cars and boats to Myitkyinar. From Myitkyinar he would fly back to Mandalay after a short trip to another Buddhist town Nam-ma-tee.

22 October 2:05 PM -- He was welcomed by the Buddhist monks from Bamaw and also the leaders of the local Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount).

22 October 2:15 PM – Shin Wirathu’s vehicle convoy left Bamaw for the ferry site at Man Yway Village on the banks of Irrawaddy River.

22 October 5:00 PM – In a convoy of motorized long boats he arrived at Man Naung Village of Moe Mouk Township in Bamaw District.

22 October 7:00 PM – At Man Naung he delivered a night sermon titled “Do not miss a good opportunity” to the gathering crowd of hundreds of Buddhist Shans.

23 October 1:00 PM – He delivered a rousing speech at the public meeting after a projector-screening of the video file on last year Maungdaw’s Bengali-Muslim attacks on native Buddhist-Yakhines there. In his speech he told the Buddhists of Man Naung that they had to take care of their own security as they cannot really rely on the government or the politicians. He then answered the questions from the public and the public meeting ended at 4 pm that day.

23 October 7:00 PM – That night Shin Wirathu also delivered another night sermon titled “More relatives the better” to the Buddhist crowd at Man Naung Village.

24 October 7:00 AM – He left Man Naung by boat convoy back to Bamaw. He was seen off at the ferry port by Man Naung Monastery Abbott U Pyin-nyar-nan-dah and the villagers.

24 October 10:00 AM – He arrived back at Bamaw and after having alms at Myoma Ward’s Lel-baw monastery he delivered a midday sermon titled “Unification and Peace” at the monastery. Lel-baw Sayadaw young Abbott Shin Nandaw-bar-tha once was one of Shin Wiratuh’s dear pupils in his Mandalay Masoeyein Teaching Monastery.

24 October 4:30 PM – He went to Namt-phar Ward in Bamaw and saw and gave respects to Namt-phar Sayadaw Shin Bart-dan-tah-oak-ka-hta who is a member of Kachin Satate Thangah Naryaka (State-sponsored Association of Buddhist Monks) and also the Chairman of Bamaw District Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount). He also saw and gave respects to Sar-wadee Sayardaw and Thu-kha-waddy Sayardaw there.

24 October 5:30 PM – That evening our Shin Wirathu delivered a sermon titled “The Ones Who Bitter the Sweet Mangos” to a Buddhist crowd at Namt-phar Monastery.

24 October 8:00 PM – That night Shin Wirathu had a two-hours-long meeting with Sar-wadee Sayardaw and Thu-kha-waddy Sayardaw the patron monks of Bamaw District Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount).

25 October 7:00 AM – That morning Shin Wirathu saw and gave respects to Kan-oo Sayadaw Shin Bart-dan-tah-Kay-wa-tha the Chairman Monk of Bamaw Township Thangah Naryaka (State-sponsored Association of Buddhist Monks) and received his guidance. They also discussed future directions and tasks for Bamaw District Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount).

25 October 9:00 AM – That morning Shin Wirathu taught the class of young boys and girls from the Lel-baw Dama-par-la School at Bamaw’s Myoma Ward on how to be polite and obedient to the elders.

25 October 2:00 PM – That day Shin Wirathu saw and gave respects to Padarna-naryaka  Sayadaw Shin Bart-dan-tah Pyin-nyi-nar Lin-gar-ya of Mamaw’s Min-gone Ward Maha-thein-daw-gyi Pri-yat-ti Teaching Monastery. At the Monastery Shin Wirathu also delivered a sermon to the student-monks and student-nuns and laymen crowd.

25 October 7:00 PM – That night at Bamaw’s Myoma Ward’s Dammah-parla Lel-baw monastery Shin Wirathu delivered a night sermon titled “Human Rights and Our Nationalism” to a thousand-strong Buddhist audience.

26 October 7:00 AM – The group photos of Shin Wirathu together with the leader-monks of Bamaw Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount), the laymen and laywomen members of the Bamaw District Race and Religion Protection Group (Ah-myo-zount), and his Dammah audiences were taken as the records of Shin Wirathu trip to Bamaw.

26 October 8:00 AM – His vehicle-convoy left Bamaw at 8 in the morning of October-26 for Myitkyinar.  
(Blogger’s Notes: Since my army days in early 1970s Myitkyinar, despite being the capital of Kachin State, has basically been a majority-Buddhist town because of the combined Burmese and Shan population who are nearly 100% Buddhist.

A Burmese army patrol in Myitkyinar.
I still remember the stark contrast between the treatments we Burmese soldiers received from the Buddhist wards and Kachin wards. We were shot at by the Christians in the Kachin wards while the Buddhists wards' residents were happy to see us and gladly giving us food and drinks and cheroots.

So we tensely locked and loaded our G3s in Kachin Wards but we slung them G3s with ease on our shoulders in Buddhist wards.

As in the rest of Burma the Kachin State has diverse population of mainly Kachin, Shan, Burmese, and other ethnic groups. Kachin State’s 4 districts, 18 townships, and 11 sub-townships have a total population of more than 1.6 million in the year 2,012 and there are more than 500,000 Kachins, nearly 400,000 Burmese, over 300,000 Shans, and almost 300,000 other ethnic groups living in the Kachin State.

According to the last census figures the districts of Myitkyinar, Moenhyin, Bamaw, and Putao have population of more than 1.6 million out of which Kachins are 39.319%, Burmese 29.288%, Shans 23.633%, Chins 0.737%, Karens 0.218%, Yakhines 0.217%, Mons 0.030%, and Kayahs 0.020%. 

Total Buddhist population of war-torn Kachin State is now nearly 60% compared to just 35% Christians and that demographic change is frightening the Christian-Controlled KIA but encouraging the Buddhist Burmese Army in their grueling war against KIA.

Shin Wirathu’s well-publicised proselytizing trips to Kachin State especially Myitkyinar and Bamaw the most populous towns in Kachin land just after the futile peace-talks between the army and KIA in last October 8-10 was not a coincidence, I believe.

Travelling in a vehicle convoy with a heavily-armed army escort on extremely dangerous Bamaw-Myitkyinar road through Dawd-phone-yang where KIA has regularly ambushed army troops? Burma army definitely was behind Shin Wirathu’s proselytizing trip into the still-nominally-Christian Kachin land.)