Vietnam detains Buddhist monk

Hanoi, Vietnam - Security forces in communist Vietnam on Thursday detained a Buddhist monk as he distributed aid to farmers rallying outside a government office in the capital, Buddhist activists said.

Thich Khong Tanh of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) was arrested at the government complaints office in Hanoi, said the Paris-based International Buddhist Information Bureau in a statement.

“After Thich Khong Tanh and the UBCV delegation arrived at 8:00 am (0100 GMT) today, security police vehicles drew up and blocked all access,” said the bureau. “They began pushing demonstrators into buses and evacuating them.

“Thich Khong Tanh managed to contact the UBCV delegation on his mobile phone to tell them he had been arrested. His phone is now cut.” In mid-July, the UBCV’s deputy leader Thich Quang Do expressed his solidarity with farmers demonstrating in Ho Chi Minh City against state confiscation of land, corruption and inadequate compensation.