Criticism of Buddhism to be punished by law in Myanmar
The Burmese military’s (Tatmadaw) Major General Zaw Min Tun spoke at a press conference in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on July 26.
The general’s speech comes in response to requests made by a journalist and former member of parliament, But Leh Hla Swe. Mr. Hla Swe’s Islamophobic speeches and pro-military stance are widely known in the country.
In his address, General Zaw Min Tun promised that any verbal, written, or online post insulting Buddhism will be punished according to law. Flaunting punishment for those who insult the religion is a clear attempt to galvanize religious extremists and nationalists into taking action against civilians.
Since the military’s takeover of Myanmar’s democratic government last February, the military junta has been working closely with Buddhist priests to stomp out civil unrest.
General Zaw Min Tun’s announcement comes shortly after a member of Myanmar’s exiled government demanded the military to uphold civilians’ national right to religious freedom.