Buddhist Monk and Civilians Take up Arms Against Myanmar Junta

A Buddhist monk and several civilians have taken up arms and joined rebel groups to fight against the ruling Junta.

Kaythara, the head monk of the Dhamma Darna monastery in Hlaingthaya township has given up his vows and joined an unnamed rebel group from an undisclosed area.

Kaythara now goes by the name of George Michael and has finished his military training. 

According to Kathra, the deaths of his fellow protesters have urged him to join the armed struggle. 

“We had resisted the military council’s rule peacefully, without even bearing a single needle, but after I learned about the forces shooting down fellow protestors, I changed my mind. I decided to join the armed training when I arrived in this ‘liberated area,” said Kaythara.

Another person who joined the armed resistance in Myanmar was Al Jazeera interviewee “Andrew.”

Andrew joined up with the rebel group in his home state of Kayah and started training two months ago. 

“Before the coup, I couldn’t even kill an animal. When I saw the military kill civilians, I felt really sad and troubled… I came to the mindset that I’m fighting for the people against evil military dictators” said Andrew.

Aside from ethnic rebel groups, citizens have started forming defense forces since March and started conducting attacks against Junta forces in May. 

Armed rebel groups in Kayah and Shan State have launched attacks during that time and claimed to have killed more than 120 regime forces.

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