April 20, 2021

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Myanmar: largest Buddhist group condemns military violent repression

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On March 14, many monks appeared during the anti-coup demonstration in Yangon. Behind them were many people holding "Stop Violence" slogans. (AFP)

On March 14, many monks appeared during the Myanmar anti-coup demonstration in Yangon. Behind them were many people holding "Stop Violence" slogans.

The Myanmar National Buddhist Monks Association called on the military to stop atrocities against anti-coup demonstrators and condemned the crime of torture and killing of innocent civilians by “a few armed elements”.

Reuters reported that the Myanmar media quoted a draft statement from the National Buddhist Monks Association (Mahana) on Wednesday as saying that the association decided to suspend participation in all activities “obviously” aimed at protests.

The Myanmar National Buddhist Monks Association is the most influential Buddhist group in Myanmar, and its members are officially appointed. This statement is the association’s strongest accusation of the military’s bloody repression so far.

The independent online media Myanmar Now quoted a monk attending a meeting of the Myanmar National Buddhist Monks Association as saying that the committee plans to issue an official statement after consulting the Myanmar Minister of Religious Affairs on Thursday.

Buddhist groups have a huge influence on Myanmar’s history. In 2007, in the wave of the “Saffron Revolution” against the rule of the military government, Buddhist groups played a pivotal role in promoting the democratic process in Myanmar.

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