ICC NOTE: Religious leaders in Burma have finally taken notice of the Radical Buddhist monk known as U Thuzana who has been illegally building pagodas on Christian church property. The Buddhist monk has been ordering his followers to do so in order to reclaim ancient Buddhist lands despite opposition from local Christian populations. Christian’s have remained passive on the situation as any retaliation would result in violence and potential crackdown from the military who have an infamous history of religious persecution and violence. Whether government officials will be able to stop the advance of one religion into another’s property remains to be seen as recent records towards religious freedom do not boast positive results.
5/12/2016 Burma (Radio Free Asia) – Religious officials in Myanmar have condemned the actions of an influential Buddhist monk and his followers who are erecting Buddhist pagodas on the grounds of churches and mosques in eastern Myanmar’s Karen State.
Monk Myaing Kyee Ngu, also known as U Thuzana, has been building pagodas—also called stupas—near Christian churches and mosques in eastern Myanmar’s Karen state in an act of defiance to supposedly reclaim ancient Buddhist lands.
Ven Abiyabiwuntha, abbot of the Myawaddy Monastery in Mandalay, told RFA’s Myanmar Service that the government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist monks that oversees and regulates the Buddhist clergy in Myanmar has so far failed to stop Myaing Kyee Ngu’s activities.
“The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee must take action against him, but I haven’t heard that it has done anything to him,” he said.
“Actually, building stupas is not important for Buddhism; the important thing is to have dhamma—loving-kindness and goodwill,” he said. “What he is doing by building stupas is destroying dhamma.”
Myaing Kyee Ngu abruptly departed Karen state when Aung Ko, minister of religious affairs and culture, stopped there for a visit after meeting with members of an interfaith group last week in Mandalay to discuss religious issues, including his recent invasive pagoda-building spree.
Tin Win, Karen state’s religious minister, told RFA that Myaing Kyee Ngu had already left for Bangkok when Aung Ko arrived to see him, leaving him to meet with another monk who is Myaing Kyee Ngu’s assistant.
The monk told Aung Ko that Myaing Kyee Ngu was seriously ill, and the minister asked him to pass on his message to reconsider his actions of building stupas on lands belonging to other religious groups, Tin Win said.
Resolving the problem
Myaing Kyee Ngu and 300 supporters erected a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine last week on the grounds of St. Mark Anglican church in Kondawgyi village of Hlaingbwe township.