Severely Burned Letpadaung Monk Released From Hospital

By Nyein Nyein 26 March 2013

Teikkha Nyana was severely burned when police attacked anti-copper mine protestors in Letpadaung in November.

The 64-year-old monk was taken to a Bangkok hospital for treatment. He was finally released on Tuesday.

Nay Thiha, the monk’s eldest son, said Teikkha Nyana was due to fly back to Burma on Tuesday evening.

The monk is in good health, “except he cannot sit by himself, he cannot bend his legs and still has small wounds,” his son said.

Teikkha Nyana was brought to the hospital’s intensive care unit in mid-December for skin grafts on his back, arms and legs, which were badly burned when police used grenades containing phosphorous to clear out the protest camp.

The Burmese government has covered the medical bills for the monk, while his family must pay their own way.

A committee set up to investigate the pre-dawn November assault on the unarmed protestors and led by Aung San Suu Kyi released its findings on March 12. The report was met with anger and frustration by people affected by the mine, which is owned by a subsidiary of a Chinese weapons maker.

In scenes unimaginable only a couple of years ago, the pro-democracy leader was confronted and heavily criticized for her role.

Teikkha Nyana will probably not need further surgery. He will undergo physiotherapy for his injured legs at a hospital in Sagaing Division established by a well-known monk.

More than 100 people, mostly Buddhist monks, were injured when police stormed their protest camp at Monywa’s Letpadaung Mountain on Nov. 29, 2012. Several victims are still receiving treatment for their injuries.