Myanmar’s hardline Buddhist monks unimpressed by ban

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Myanmar’s ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement despite a ban gathered in a Yangon monastery on May 27, just shortly after Myanmar’s top Buddhist clergy banned their network which has been accused of stoking Islamophobia and aggravate religious unrest mainly targeted at the minority Muslim group of Rohingya.

The top Buddhist committee also ordered the group to remove their signs and symbols throughout the country by July 15 and declared that no group under the name of Ma Ba Tha will be allowed to convene or operate in the future or face prosecution.

The Ma Ba Tha monks, however, said the were “not sure whether to follow the orders or not.”

In any case, the threat did not deter hundreds of monks, nuns and followers from attending a weekend summit at the Yangon monastery decorated with Ma Ba Tha banners. Notorious firebrand monk Wirathu was holding a speech although he is officially banned from preaching for a year by the highest clergy body.

On May 28, the group announced that it is rebranding itself under a new name and released a declaration that it from now on would use the name of “Buddha Dhamma Philanthropy Foundation,” a new designation which is significantly less confrontational than the original which translated as “The Association for the Protection of Race and Religion.”

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar’s ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement despite a ban gathered in a Yangon monastery on May 27, just shortly after Myanmar’s top Buddhist clergy banned their network which has been accused of stoking Islamophobia and aggravate religious unrest mainly targeted at the minority Muslim group of Rohingya.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar’s ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement despite a ban gathered in a Yangon monastery on May 27, just shortly after Myanmar’s top Buddhist clergy banned their network which has been accused of stoking Islamophobia and aggravate religious unrest mainly targeted at the minority Muslim group of Rohingya.

The top Buddhist committee also ordered the group to remove their signs and symbols throughout the country by July 15 and declared that no group under the name of Ma Ba Tha will be allowed to convene or operate in the future or face prosecution.

The Ma Ba Tha monks, however, said the were “not sure whether to follow the orders or not.”

In any case, the threat did not deter hundreds of monks, nuns and followers from attending a weekend summit at the Yangon monastery decorated with Ma Ba Tha banners. Notorious firebrand monk Wirathu was holding a speech although he is officially banned from preaching for a year by the highest clergy body.

On May 28, the group announced that it is rebranding itself under a new name and released a declaration that it from now on would use the name of “Buddha Dhamma Philanthropy Foundation,” a new designation which is significantly less confrontational than the original which translated as “The Association for the Protection of Race and Religion.”

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