Hardline Buddhist monk sentenced under Article 19

Hardline Buddhist monk sentenced under Article 19

A Yangon court today sentenced ultra-nationalist Buddhist monk Parmaukkha to one month in prison under Article 19 of the controversial Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.

Parmaukkha was arrested earlier this month for his part in an anti-Rohingya protest held outside the US embassy in the former capital last year.

Further charges – under Section 505 (b) of the penal code – for “inciting unrest” at the demonstration remain to be heard at a later date.

Alongside nationalist firebrand monk Wirathu, Parmaukkha has been at the forefront of anti-Rohingya sentiment in Burma in recent years, during which time tensions have frequently descended into mob violence, leaving hundreds dead.

Parmaukkha was reportedly a co-founder of Ma Ba Tha, the Burmese language acronym for the Association for Protection of Race and Religion, but he quit the radical Buddhist and anti-Muslim group last year, citing political differences.

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A significant percentage of Burma’s majority Buddhist population are in favour of expelling or deporting the Rohingya Muslim community, and claim that they are “Bengalis” who are indigenous to Bangladesh, not Burma.

Last month, a court in Rangoon jailed four Burmese nationalists for staging a similar anti-Rohingya protest outside the US embassy in April.

 

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