The Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, commonly known by its Burmese acronym Ma-Ba-Tha, called an emergency meeting on Thursday as it issued a demand to Burma’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take action against the Chief Minister of Rangoon for comments he made about the Buddhist nationalist group.
The storm centers on a statement Chief Minister of Rangoon Phyo Min made to exiled Burmese while on a trip to Singapore recently when he said, “We do not need the Ma-Ba-Tha” [ma-ba-tha ma lo up par].
According to media reports, he made similar comments upon his return to Burma.
The Ma-Ba-Tha is an extreme pro-Buddhist organisation, headed by radical monks such as the fervently anti-Muslim orator Wirathu. It stands accused of fostering violence and anti-Muslim sentiment across the country.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein paid homage to State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee [Official monkhood body] Chairman Sayadaw Dr. Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa and other committee members at Bhamo Monastery.