A man who claims to be the reincarnation of an influential sayadaw has been accused of using his religious stature to kidnap and sexually abuse women in Thaton township, Mon State.
Two families have filed complaints with Mon State Hluttaw’s Women and Children’s Rights Committee. The father of one of the alleged victims presented evidence to the committee on November 6.
“We listened to the statements of the person who submitted the compliant. Six people, including the victim’s father, came. We will take action in accordance with the committee’s decision and the guidelines of the hluttaw Speaker,” sad Daw Khine Khine Lei, chair of the committee.
Mon State Chief Minister U Aye Zan said his government had received a warrant for the arrest of the suspect two months ago. But the suspect reportedly fled to Shan State. Officials from both states say they are cooperating.
Daw Khine Khine Lei said the abuse has reportedly been ongoing for about five or six years. The issued was brought to the attention of lawmakers after an unrelated complaint about pagoda renovations prompted digging into the religious site.
Officials said the case has extended to now include seven people, included the religious leader. The criminal charges include kidnapping or abduction of women for forced marriage, kidnapping and abetting the crimes. The Thaton Police are investigating.