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Myanmar: Nationalists disrupt pro-Muslim event

26th Feb 2018
Myanmar: Nationalists disrupt pro-Muslim event

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

 

YANGON, Myanmar (AA): Some 50 nationalists on Sunday disrupted a news conference in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, which was organized by a group of Buddhist monks who have been pressing the government to take action against an anti-Muslim monk.

The nationalists including 20 monks barged into an apartment in Kyauktada Township where members of the Anti-False Buddhist Doctrine Committee were scheduled to meet the journalists.

“We cancelled today’s event as we don’t want to see it turning into a fight,” Min Thunya, the committee’s founder monk, told Anadolu Agency on the phone.

The committee, which was formed last April, has been campaigning against Wirathu, an ultra-nationalist monk in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city.

Wirathu had welcomed the January 2017 assassination of Ko Ni, a prominent Muslim lawyer and top legal adviser to the ruling party.

A district court in Yangon charged Kyi Lin, the gunman, and three alleged co-conspirators for murder.

Earlier this month, a group of nationalists appeared at the court hearing wearing T-shirts with the phrase ‘Eat Well’ written on them — which in the local language reads as a threat — to show support for the suspects.

The committee has sped up their campaign against Wirathu after he appeared in a short video where he used the phrase ‘Eat Well’.

“If he considers himself a Buddhist monk, he should act accordingly. No Buddha teaching supports any killing,” Min Thunya said.

“We know it is difficult for the government to take action against Wirathu as he is prominent among nationalists. But we want to remind the government that our country will not achieve anything without the rule of law,” he added.

It has been more than a year since Ko Ni’s assassination at Yangon International Airport. However, the main suspect is still at large.

[Archive Photo: Protests by Buddhist Monks and other nationalistsin Yangon, demanding Myanmar Government ban the word Rohingya on 22 May 2016. Photographer:  Aung Naing Soe/AA]

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