Burmese Nationalist Campaign to Call for Anti-Ooredoo Boycott


The logo of telecommunications firm Ooredoo is seen at the company’s head office in Doha, Qatar. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — A Burmese nationalist movement led by Buddhist monks is set to begin a campaign in calling for people to boycott Qatari mobile phone operator Ooredoo.

An abbot who supports the movement, U Parmaukha, told The Irrawaddy that a publicity campaign would begin in Rangoon on Saturday discouraging people from buying Ooredoo SIM cards, or even answering calls from phones using an Ooredoo SIM, because the company hails from a Muslim country.

U Parmaukha, from Magwe Kyaung Tike monastery in Rangoon, said a group called the Burmese Nationalist Youth will distribute pamphlets and CDs in the former capital with information about the boycott.

“The campaign is to protect the integrity of the Burmese nation and the religion because we doubt that we will have freedom when talking over their mobile network because the company is from an Islamic country,” said U Parmaukha.

In support of the campaign, the abbot will open up his monastery for a press conference to launch it on Saturday. He added that similar campaigns against Ooredoo would soon be underway across the country.

Ooredoo—which is owned by the natural gas-rich Qatari government—is one of two foreign firms awarded the right to operate mobile phone services in Burma. The company said last month that it would make mobile phone and internet services available to 30 percent of the country sometime between the start of July and the end of September.

U Parmaukha said he was aware that the boycott would raise concerns about the environment for overseas businesses in Burma, which is currently seeing a massive influx of foreign investment, much of it in the nascent telecommunications sector.

“We are also concerned that the foreign investment would draw back, but we are worried that this Islamic company would threaten the integrity of the Burmese nation and the religion,” said U Parmaukha.

“The government needs to think before giving permission to Islamic-related companies to run their business in the country, looking at it from A nationalistic point of view. For us, we prefer to give permission only to other companies, rather than Islamic ones.”

15 Responses to Burmese Nationalist Campaign to Call for Anti-Ooredoo Boycott

  1. Qatar and UAE are not Islamic fundamentalist countries. Their religious concept is way above Wirathu’s concept. Fundamentalist Buddhist may stay away from Ooredoo but we the liberals will buy from this great company. Wirathu from USDP and Ayatollah from Iran are on the same road.

  2. I dont think its good idea to boycott coz business issue and not religious.

  3. Can someone stop him (U Parmaukha) to make those stupidity joke?

  4. The sheer ignorance and stupidity of monks in Burma is just appalling. Given the fact that most of them do not study pass monastery education, however, makes their ignorance understandable. Anyway, what they should be protesting is the illegal, bought from utterly greedy and stupid government officials who’s worked in the department of immigration between 1990-2010. In that period, close to 2 millions chinese bought burmese citizenship. They are now in control of mining (precious stones; jade, ruby and the likes) and logging (mostly illegal) industries. With the illegally earned income, they’ve bought of pretty much the whole of upper Burma. I can’t believe that no sane Burmese is protesting this. What the new government needs to do is stripped all the chinese who bought citizens in the last 2 decades from their burmese citizenship and tax most of the income earned from mining and logging industries about 60% and use the money earned on building power plants, highways, schools and give to the real local from the area where mining and logging occurred!

  5. Such narrow view. We should not have a narrow view if it benefits the country as a whole. If the present provider is good, there is no need for foreign companies. Being a Buddhist myself, we should not bear grudges toward others. Monks should teach tolerance.

  6. U Parmaukha is blind nationalistic monk, he does not know the world situation and does not know how to classify the religion and business and in another word he is narrow minded.

    If you look at World Energy sector most of the Oil exporting country are Muslims nations, so U Parmaukha point of view, do not use car, do not use electricity, because crude oil and other energy belongs to Muslims countries. Diesel and D-2 belongs to Muslims countries. Do not do Business with Three Asean Nations such as Malaysia, Brunei and
    Indonesia, Do not fly and use plane to go abroad, because JP54 air spirit belongs to Muslims countries. Please call back all Myanmar workers from Malaysia, Qatar and tell U Parmaukha to provide them salaries from his pocket.

    Please think over this world is very small, we are staying like one family not enemy. Buddha teaches that to love all human beings not to hate each other. U Parmaukha is not the son of Buddah, but he belongs to a another kind of Buddhist and want mto bring new religion in Burma ( Myanmar ).

    Government should think this kind of propaganda so that not to create any misunderstanding with Muslims nations though out the world. All over the world Muslims are living with peacefully and existing co-existence in every countries. Muslims are Peace loving peoples not make any harmful to any society. Burmese Independence was organized to include hilly regions by Muslims and Pinlong treaty was organized by U Pe Khin, a Burmese Muslim. So enough is enough do not create this land to be wild land.

  7. This is justthe destructive campagne to create violence within the country before 2015 election. Using fake monks to do such kind of things so that their goal can be reached. These groups are not from out siders, the guide line given them by cronies, powerful peoples from USDP party and elements from President office. They know that if free and fair election hold , ASSK’s party ( NLDS ) will win, so from now they are starting small movement and testing the public how it can happend.

    Government of Myanmar should not allow terrorist idea monks and also not allow to involve in such kind of movement which can lead the country in a situation of horror.

    See, Arakan violence, up till now cannot be healed. Arakan violence was also a creation not to get unity among the two community which is created by some powerful group from the party in power by useing RNDP party as tool for their own benefits for long term, because Arakan has Oil & Gas rich. The stupit so called leaders of Arakan to day did not understand the real fact, Arakan became political play grond and testing ground for their own purpose of benefits.

    Who said Muslims of Arakan are alien? If any body says so, he is ignorent, stupid and does not know future to forecast of Arakan and leading to hollow brain. Come to me for learning more histroical background of Arakan.

  8. Can Myanmar afford to hate and stay away from Muslim world? Myanmar is part of asean which includes malaysia, Indonesia and brunei which are Islamic nations. Building our nation on hate is totally unacceptable. We are in 21st century. Philosophy from stone age must not work in this post modern era. Monks who graduated from monasteries are not educated enough to lead the nation. Instead, I will rather listen from my mom.

  9. Myanmar Buddhist monks need to visit at least Thailand that their eyes may see clearer and broader. Teaching and preaching hatred becomes major doctrine of Buddhism in Burma.

  10. >>Well>>we guys should not make a fuss about it>>

    >>Do you know>>why>>

    >>Well>>most of the Middle East despots down fall >>are>>due largely>>

    >>to IT revolution >>there>>Twitter>>Facebook>>etc>>

    >>So>>please close one eye>>

    >>Maybe it could be >>a blessing in disguise>>

  11. Islam in Burma!
    The King of Burma,built Mosque for Ministers
    The fighters and runners were Muslim
    Farsi was international language then as English is today…..
    Bush and Blair created this Muslim bashing and demonizing Muslim
    world over
    It ripples!
    WMD not found in Iraq
    Why entertain Colonialist…..
    “Colonialism is the worst form of Terrorism!”

  12. The famous Monk

    Road Name / Rangoon

    U Wizzara

    Anti Colonialist!

  13. Oo Maung Gyi, people know what to do and what not to do. We are not going to learn anything from islamist terrors or at least, supporters of islamist terror, like you. Qatar is the largest funder of terrorist movements of islamist origin. All our state security cannot be given to them this way. Don’t dream of islamist colonization of Burma. Sorry to say that. But this is the real painful truth.

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