Buddhist Monk Venerated by Myanmar Coup Leader Killed in Plane Crash

By The Irrawaddy 10 June 2021

Twelve people including one of Myanmar’s most influential Buddhist monks and several military officers were killed when a military airplane crashed near the Anisakhan Airport in Mandalay Region’s Pyin Oo Lwin Township on Thursday.

Well-known monk Abhisheka Maha Rattha Guru Dr. Bhatanda Kavisara from the Zaygone Monastery in Naypyitaw and another monk died in the crash along with five military personnel—two lieutenant commanders, two captains and a sergeant—and five other passengers who were donors to a monastery construction project.

A sergeant and the child of a donor survived the crash with injuries. They were being treated at a military hospital in Pyin Oo Lwin, according to junta run-Myawady Television.

The plane crashed at around 8 a.m. while landing at Anisakhan Airport in Pyin Oo Lwin after a flight from Naypyitaw. The monks’ visit related to the construction of another Zaygone Monastery in Pyin Oo Lwin’s Kyaukphardoe Village.

Myanmar coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing prays before Dr. Bhatanda Kavisara in Naypyitaw on Feb 2./ Military information team

Dr. Bhatanda Kavisara has counted a number of military leaders among his closest devotees since the days of the military government of Senior General Than Shwe.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s current military chief who seized state power from the democratically elected government on Feb. 1, met and held a prayer session with the monk a day after staging the coup.

In June 2017, a military airplane crashed in Tanintharyi Region’s Dawei Township, killing 122 people.

In February 2016, a military transport aircraft crashed in Naypyitaw’s Lewe Township.

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