Yangon [Myanmar], Mar. 11 : A firebrand monk known for his anti-Muslim hate speeches has been banned from giving sermons across Myanmar for one year, according to officials.
The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, which oversees and regulates the Buddhist clergy in Myanmar, said in a statement that Wirathu was repeatedly delivering hate speech against religions to cause communal strife and hinder efforts in the rule of law as well as taking sides with political parties to inflame tensions.
Aung San Win, a senior official at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, told Anadolu Agency that the ban was decided on Thursday at a meeting of the Committee.
"The one-year ban starts on Friday," he said. According to the statement, Wirathu may face legal action for any breach of the order. The move came after Wirathu gave a sermon on Wednesday in a small town of Maubin in the Ayeyawaddy division despite a ban by the regional government.
Wirathu is one of the most vociferous members of the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion (known as Ma Ba Tha in its Myanmar acronym) that has been seen as deliberately stoking the flames of religious hatred against the country's Muslim minority.