U Seindiya, a senior monk from Aung Kaung monastery whose public service has previously been recognised by the government, has fled to the Thai-Burma border to escape arrest.

U Seindiya arrived at the border on 7 November having been pursued by government forces as he made his escape.

He was wanted by the authorities for leading other monks in his township in protests in September, and narrowly escaped arrest when Aung Kaung monastery in Kawkareit township, Karen state, was raided by troops from the ruling State Peace and Development Council and government-backed Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

U Seindiya has previously been honoured by the government for his public service.

He was selected to receive a medal by junta leader senior general Than Shwe for donating blood more than 80 times in the past 30 years to help soldiers who were wounded.

His medal was awarded by Karen state Peace and Development Council chairperson Khin Kyu in the state capital of Pha-an.

Speaking from the Thai-Burma border, U Seindiya criticised the government’s action against him.

“I spared in total about two buckets of my blood for the soldiers and they didn’t even acknowledge it, and they even raided my monastery,” U Seindiya said.

“We were only walking the streets and chanting metta, so it wasn’t a big crime, but the military made a big deal out of it and chased me through the jungle,” he said.

“The SPDC is acting so unlawfully – in fact, they are out of control. It’s in the soldiers’ codes to treat civilians with respect, but now they are treating people as their enemies, and I see this as a breaking of their own rules. This is not good for our country.”