Myanmar Issues Arrest Warrant for Ultranationalist Monk

07/11/2019 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On July 9, the western district court in Yangon ordered that an arrest warrant for ultranationalist Buddhist monk U Wirathu be posted at his monastery in the northern city of Mandalay.

The firebrand monk, known as the “Buddhist Bin Laden” for his hatred against religious minorities, particularly the Rohingya Muslim community, faces a charge of sedition after he made obscene comments about the State Counsellor in a speech at a rally in Yangon on May 5.

He needs to come out of hiding within a month, while nine witnesses have testified against the controversial monk so far.

U Wirathu has attacked religious minorities, especially Muslims, deepening social divisions in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims have been persecuted by Buddhist mobs and the military. His now banned Buddhist group, Ma Ba Tha, also has repeatedly harassed or oppressed Christians in various parts of the country.

The sedition law prohibits anyone from provoking disaffection, hatred or contempt towards the government. If convicted, U Wirathu can face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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