The Most Senior Most Venerable Thich Thanh Quang, Chief Representative of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) in Quang Nam – Danang has sent an emergency report to the UBCV’s Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma about the escalating repression against UBCV members in Quang Nam – Danang. The report reads:
“The communist government of Vietnam has increased terrorization against establishments and members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), specifically Giac Minh Temple and presently An Cu temple of Son Tra district, Danang city.”
“The Abbott of An Cu temple, the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc, is a UBCV Special Youth Affairs liaison in Quang Nam – Danang. Every Vesak and Ullambana, An Cu Temple and its monastic and non-monastic members have to endure abuse paralleled to the oppression against UBCV Representatives in Quang Nam – Danang.
This year, the local government has been circulating adulterated documents to slander and vilify the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc’s reputation.
At 6AM today (May 16, 2011), a number of Buddhists went to An cu Temple to help decorate. Suddenly, the police rushed into the temple and forced everyone out of the temple.
At noon, the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc went to Giac Minh temple to report the situation at An Cu temple to the Most Senior Venerable Thich Thanh Quang. While the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc was at Giac Minh Temple, he was notified that his beloved dog at An Cu temple was fatally poisoned. The Venerable immediately returned to An Cu temple.
“At 4PM of the same day, when the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc returned to An Cu Temple, officials from all ranks of the government bolted into the temple and insulted the Venerable severely, using vulgar and uneducated languages.
“Having felt unbearably unjust after countless pressure, slanders, and terrorization that he could not put into words, the Venerable doused himself with 8 liters (2.1 gallons) of gasoline and knocked down a lamp on the floor to self-immolate. However, the fire was extinguished and temple members quickly carried the Venerable to the backroom.”
Upon seeing a determined and unexpected action by the Venerable, police, government officials, and paid thugs quickly ran away from An Cu temple. However, police still assigned agents taking videos of the temple and write down the license plate number of the temple’s visitors and members.”.
In addition to this particular incident, police regularly harassed and threatened anyone who visited An Cu Temple. Police also issued false documents and employed false witnesses to denounce the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc as having improper relationship with Buddhists.
In a 4-page report sent to the Most Senior Venerable Thich Thanh Quang, Chief Representative of the UBCV in Quang Nam – Danang area, the Venerable Thich Thien Phuc rejected police slandering against him that range from falsifying events and names to using nonexisting addresses of the people who denounced the Venerable.