• Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Rohingya crisis: Firebrand monk Wirathu hits back at international community

  • Published at 04:56 am October 15th, 2018
Buddhist monk Wirathu delivers a speech during a rally to show the support to the Myanmar military in Yangon on October 14, 2018 AFP

More than 720,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh following the military crackdown against them in Myanmar

An ultra-nationalist monk -- dubbed the "Buddhist Bin Laden" -- on Sunday condemned the international community for their calls to bring Myanmar's generals to justice over the Rohingya crisis.

Firebrand monk Wirathu, known as the face of Myanmar's Buddhist nationalist movement, was speaking at a pro-military rally that attracted hundreds of supporters, his first since being barred from giving public sermons last year. 

The ban, which ended in March, was issued by a council of senior monks who said Wirathu had "repeatedly delivered hate speech against religions to cause communal strife". 

The hate speech he espouses -- which includes calling the Rohingya Muslim minority "Bangali" in an attempt to delegitimize their identity as being from Myanmar -- has also caused Facebook to ban him from their platform.

The hardline abbot on Sunday reverted to his signature rhetoric at the rally to protest calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Myanmar's generals for genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

"The day when the ICC comes here...is the day that Wirathu holds a gun," he said in a speech that often referred to himself in the third person. 

He lauded China and Russia in the UN Security Council as "nationalist giants who stand with the truth" in their role of preventing any firm action against Myanmar.

"Don't lie to the world saying that Bengalis are Rohingya because you want to promote Islamisation in Myanmar," Wirathu said. "Don't destroy our country by creating a fake ethnic group." 

The military has said their brutal crackdown -- which led to more than 720,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border carrying accounts of rape, arson and murder -- was warranted for combatting terrorism. 

While much of the world has regarded the unfolding Rohingya crisis with horror, the majority of people within Myanmar side with the military as the Muslim minority group is widely detested. 

The supporters showed up in force at Sunday's march, with hundreds gathering in front of downtown Yangon's iconic Sule Pagoda carrying giant portraits of army chief General Min Aung Hlaing, who UN investigators say is the most responsible.

"We can't stand the bullying of the army chief and the Tatmadaw by the international community," said protester Khine Thet Mar, 46, using the Myanmar name for the military. 

The UN Human Rights Council voted last month to prepare for criminal indictments over the atrocities in Myanmar. 

Min Aung Hlaing has remained defiant in the face of international pressure, saying that no country, organization or group has the "right to interfere in" Myanmar's sovereignty.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail