Members of the Social and Labor Affairs Committee of the Jogye Order raise three-finger salutes during a press conference held in front of the Myanmar Embassy to Korea in Yongsan, Seoul, on April 1. (Song Seung-hyun/The Korea Herald)
The Social and Labor Affairs Committee of the Jogye Order, the nation’s largest Buddhist sect, was denied special entry permits into Myanmar for three Korean monks.
The Ven. Jimong, chairperson of the committee of the Jogye Order, submitted documents to the Myanmar Embassy to Korea on April 1, requesting special permits to visit the beleaguered country.
The permit request was for three monks -- the Ven. Jimong, Hyedo and Jongsu.
“This morning, we officially heard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar that our special entry permit request was not approved. We also were told by the (Myanmar) embassy staff, who delivered the news, that the Foreign Ministry’s decision is the same as the Myanmar military’s decision,” an official of the committee under the Jogye Order said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We express great disappointment at the Myanmar military’s decision to refuse the three Buddhist monk’s visit to Buddhist-majority Myanmar for holding peace prayers. Nevertheless, we will continue to pray for peace, even though our bodies cannot be there, until the day when murder, violence, danger and pain disappear in Myanmar.”
The committee on Wednesday said that it has yet to make other specific plans.
“We were informed just yesterday. Now, we are considering diverse forms of prayers like overnight prayer, 3,000 bow prayer and prayer parade,” committee official Yang Han-woong told The Korea Herald.
The committee’s initial plan was to go to Myanmar and hold prayers together at different sites, including the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the country’s most sacred place, to call for a stop to the violence and murders that have been happening in Myanmar following a military coup on Feb. 1.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)