Former Buddhist monk Kaythara, who now goes by the name George Michael, left the monkhood and took up arms in response to the arrests and killings of fellow monks who joined protests against the military regime that overthrew the elected government in February.
Authorities in the liberated area where Kaythara went for military training argued against his participation because he was a veteran monk. But they eventually relented, and he began training with an ethnic armed group in a location he declined to disclose for fear of endangering other soldiers.
Now that he has completed his military training, Kaythara is a ranking officer. However, he said he is reluctant to confront Myanmar soldiers in battle because of his previous religious vow not to kill.
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