The Patriotic Monks Union of Myanmar has submitted a letter to the Department for the Promotion and Propagation of Sasana (Mandalay) calling for legal action to be taken against Ko Swe Win, Myanmar Now chief reporter, for his accusations against Buddhist Sasana monks.
“Sayadaw U Wirathu is a Nayaka Sayadaw from Ma Soe Yein monastery, which is the biggest Buddhist Scriptures School in Myanmar.
“The accusations made by chief reporter Ko Swe Win in the media on Sayadaw U Wirathu didn’t affect only one monk but all the monks and saddened the hearts of all Buddhists. Therefore, we signed and sent a letter to the Ministry of Religious Affairs,” said Sayadaw U Eindaw Bartha from Dhamma Thukha monastery in Patheingyi township, Mandalay.
There was a precedent where writer Htin Lin Oo was prosecuted by the Department of Religious Affairs for a speech delivered at a literature talk in Thone Pan Hla village on October 23, 2014. Based on that incident, a request has been made to the ministry to sue Ko Swe Win, the monk said.
More than 40,000 signatures were collected in the petition to sue Ko Swe Win but the organisation only submitted 8,800 signatures to the ministry, the Sayadaw continued.
“Four big signature books were sent. Even 8,800 signatures are a huge number. As we have to send copies to all relevant departments, [if we send all collected signatures] a total of over 200,000 sheets of paper will have to be used.
“So, we sent only four books with 8,800 signatures,” he said.
If the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture fails to take action against Ko Swe Win, others like him will continue to insult and defame Buddhism and its followers, said Mandalay Region Association for the Protection of Race and Religion deputy general secretary Sayadaw Baddanda Pyinya Thamika.
“If no action is taken, more people are going to insult Buddhism,” he said.
– Translation by Zaw Nyunt