Burma’s premier propaganda vehicle, The New Light of Myanmar, is, of course, continuing its daily assault on the country’s Buddhist monks. In a bizarre report on the raids that junta troops made on Rangoon’s monasteries, the paper has printed this list of “revelations”:
It is regrettable that the operation revealed that in some monasteries, women sleep in the buildings where monks reside, and the members found 42 uncensored pornographic VCDs, one uncensored pornographic DVD, three pornographic books, two pornographic wall sheets, four pornographic photos, a Kama Siddhi treatise, a photo of a woman, 10 condoms, one sexual tonic medicine sachet, dildo (with belt), one statuette of a woman and a man hugging each other, 13 women’s wear longyis (sarongs), eight panties, one purse, a love letter, perfume/glycerin bottles, men’s wear longyis, T-shirts, Jeans, two cordless phones, three loan agreements, one men’s wear Rolex wrist watch, 10 alcohol bottles, one 9mm pistol round of ammunition, 18 different kinds of swords, three wooden nanchatkus, one axe, six wooden rods, one iron rod, 13 catapults, documents about lists of bets, 30 booklets featuring football match fixtures and documents about football match bets, documents, ledgers and receipts about two-digit and three-digit illegal lotteries, three sets of playing cards, one anti-government poem book titled Thway Mawgun, one paper sheet featuring anti-government letter titled Nyinyut Kya Yin, three paper sheets featuring facts about Myanmar Young Monks Union, one diary dated on 18.9.2007 featuring expressions that Myanmar Young Monks Union made demands to the government, documents about news records and speeches of NLD, one badge of fighting peacock, ’88 generation student group’s invitation cards for Waso robes donation, one Nazi headband, and two US headbands.
I guess the intention is to o so subtly imply that some monks are breaking their vows in a range of different ways. Other parts of the article describe the activities of what the government calls “bogus monks”. Such efforts to discredit the wide-ranging demands for political reform are, of course, part and parcel of the way Burma’s military does its business. Printing offensive, and unproven, allegations against anti-government figures has, for a long time now, been a standard tactic.
I suppose it was too much to ask that Rangoon’s monks would not be subjected to the same treatment.