Myanmar’s Buddhists say they won’t use Ooredoo

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Radical Buddhists in Myanmar say the will boycott services from a Muslim company such as Ooredoo

After the Myanmar government has granted one of its two highly lucrative mobile phone licenses to Qatar’s telecom company Ooredoo (formerly Qatar Telecom), monks and other Buddhists in the country said that they are not going to use a service provided by a company from a Muslim country, the Associated Press reported.

Ooredoo being issued a license came as a surprise for some, although the company pledged the highest investment into a new mobile phone network of about $15 billion. However, Buddhist activists demanded to know why exactly the license had gone to the Qataris.

Social networking sites were full with critical posts, with comments flooding the Facebook pages of government officials who posted the official announcement, calling the decision “worrisome” as it came at a time people were calling for protection of nationality and race.

Myanmar is suffering from a violent conflict involving the Rohingya minority, with 250 people, most of them Muslims, killed in the last year and 140,000 others fleeing their homes.

A radical Buddhist movement in Myanmar, called 969, has been urging followers to boycott Muslim businesses and not to marry, sell property to or hire Muslims, a situation culminating in a provocative TIME Magazine cover of a radical Muslim monk and the subsequent ban of the magazine in Myanmar.

The government defended itself saying that Ooredoo, besides Norway’s Telenor, was the “best choice” and not to consider public sentiment was a “good thing”.

However, the negative impact of the religious issue has been foreseen by analysts.

Ooredoo said its investment in Myanmar will create hundred thousands of jobs in areas such as sales, distribution and customer service as the mobile industry develops. The Qatari company in the region also has stakes in mobile phone providers in Laos, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Myanmar will undoubtedly become a key market for Ooredoo as we build out our network and deliver easy-to-use, customer friendly and life-enhancing services to the people of Myanmar,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, in a release on June 27.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Radical Buddhists in Myanmar say the will boycott services from a Muslim company such as Ooredoo

After the Myanmar government has granted one of its two highly lucrative mobile phone licenses to Qatar’s telecom company Ooredoo (formerly Qatar Telecom), monks and other Buddhists in the country said that they are not going to use a service provided by a company from a Muslim country, the Associated Press reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

ooredoo cake
Radical Buddhists in Myanmar say the will boycott services from a Muslim company such as Ooredoo

After the Myanmar government has granted one of its two highly lucrative mobile phone licenses to Qatar’s telecom company Ooredoo (formerly Qatar Telecom), monks and other Buddhists in the country said that they are not going to use a service provided by a company from a Muslim country, the Associated Press reported.

Ooredoo being issued a license came as a surprise for some, although the company pledged the highest investment into a new mobile phone network of about $15 billion. However, Buddhist activists demanded to know why exactly the license had gone to the Qataris.

Social networking sites were full with critical posts, with comments flooding the Facebook pages of government officials who posted the official announcement, calling the decision “worrisome” as it came at a time people were calling for protection of nationality and race.

Myanmar is suffering from a violent conflict involving the Rohingya minority, with 250 people, most of them Muslims, killed in the last year and 140,000 others fleeing their homes.

A radical Buddhist movement in Myanmar, called 969, has been urging followers to boycott Muslim businesses and not to marry, sell property to or hire Muslims, a situation culminating in a provocative TIME Magazine cover of a radical Muslim monk and the subsequent ban of the magazine in Myanmar.

The government defended itself saying that Ooredoo, besides Norway’s Telenor, was the “best choice” and not to consider public sentiment was a “good thing”.

However, the negative impact of the religious issue has been foreseen by analysts.

Ooredoo said its investment in Myanmar will create hundred thousands of jobs in areas such as sales, distribution and customer service as the mobile industry develops. The Qatari company in the region also has stakes in mobile phone providers in Laos, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Myanmar will undoubtedly become a key market for Ooredoo as we build out our network and deliver easy-to-use, customer friendly and life-enhancing services to the people of Myanmar,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, in a release on June 27.

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