In Burma, the ultra-national Buddhist movement Ma Ba Tha tries to play the most clever with the religious authorities of the country. The members of this anti-Muslim movement have changed the name of their organization while refusing to cease their activities, as requested by the official Buddhist hierarchy.
A few days ago, the leaders of the Buddhist Church of Burma had finally taken the plunge. They had ordered the Ma Ba Tha movement to cease all activities. For more than five years, Ma Ba Tha has been conducting ultra-nationalist campaigns, often targeting the Muslim minority, campaigns that mostly drift into violence.
The leading Buddhist monks of the movement did not obey. On the contrary, they met with their supporters and proclaimed that they would continue their nationalist campaign, with one difference: the organization will now take the name of philanthropic foundation Buddhadhamma. A nameless disturbing than Ma Ba Tha, which means association for the protection of race and religion.
Another sign that the members of the movement do not intend to be marginalized, the monk Wirathu, known for his extremist sermons, spoke at this gathering. The clergy had, however, forbidden him to speak in public. The raids of the movement against Muslim ceremonies and mosques have multiplied in recent months.