Burma’s global reputation continues to decline as world leaders condemn the government’s handling of the crisis in Arakan State.
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The firebrand nationalist monk U Wirathu headlined a rally on Wednesday at which he spoke in dire terms of the “marauding” threat posed by Muslims in western Burma, labelled international aid groups operating there “terrorists,” and thwarted Buddhist authorities’ attempts to rein in his public profile.
The United States places China on its global list of the worst offenders in human trafficking, while Burma is upgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List of nations deserving special scrutiny, from Tier 3, which includes countries not complying with minimum US standards and making no significant effort to do so.
Advocates of interfaith harmony say a renaming of the hardline Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha, and plans to formally inject its ideology into Burma’s political sphere, will do little to staunch — and may even exacerbate — the underlying religious intolerance that the organisation has been accused of fomenting.