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Ma Ba Tha: NLD is the Party of ‘Islamists’

Celebrating the passage of the race and religion laws, Ma Ba Tha warns that the NLD will attempt to repeal the controversial measures if the party wins November’s elections.


PATHEIN & MANDALAY — Buddhist nationalists have used celebrations commemorating the so-called “race and religion protection laws” to urge crowds not to vote for the National League for Democracy (NLD), claiming that the opposition party is being backed by ‘Islamists’ and foreign countries.

At festivities organized in Pathein on Sunday by the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, also known by its Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha, a roster of speakers warned that the hard-won legislation would be abolished if a “political party supported and backed by Islamists and foreign countries” won the election and came into power.

U Kumara, an abbot from the Mya Taung Monastery in Pantanaw Township and a leading Ma Ba Tha member in Irrawaddy Division, expressed gratitude to President Thein Sein for signing the four laws and stressed the need to safeguard the legislation, saying that Burma would suffer under the rule of political parties that would seek to “destroy the race and religion”.

At one point, U Kumara asked the audience of more than 10,000 if they knew which party was supported by the “Islamists,” to which the crowd responded, “NLD.”

He then asked if the audience would vote for a party “supported by Islamists,” to which the crowd shouted back an emphatic “No.”

The four race and religion laws, sponsored by Ma Ba Tha, are widely seen as intended to target Burma’s Muslim minority. Together, the measures make it more difficult for people in Burma to undergo religious conversion and marry into a different faith, in addition to criminalizing polygamy, introducing severe criminal penalties for adultery, and giving regional governments the power to implement some population control policies.

Among the audience at Pathein’s Ko Thane Stadium were more than 3,000 monks from across Irrawaddy Division’s 26 townships. Aung Tin Myint, secretary of the Irrawaddy Division Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), also attended the ceremony and sat on the dais alongside leading local Ma Ba Tha figures.

Last week, it emerged that Irrawaddy Division Chief Minister and USDP member Thein Aung had offered discount licenses to Ma Ba Tha members in order to allow them to take over and shut down Muslim-owned slaughterhouses in the region.

A civil servant told The Irrawaddy that the divisional government had also provided logistical assistance for Sunday’s gathering.

“Some 20,000 plastic chairs were provided by the Irrawaddy Division General Administration Department and arrangements such as laying out chairs and the dais were done by staff of the Pathein municipal government,” said a departmental staff member, who requested anonymity.

In a message to the Pathein event, Ovadacariya Sayadaw U Ti Lawma Bhivunsa, a member of Ma Ba Tha’s central committee, said that those who objected to the race and religion laws in the Union Parliament would annul the laws when given a chance, and urged those in attendance to vote for those who would protect the measures. (Ovadacariya is a religious title conferred upon senior monks by the Burmese government.)

“[People] should be aware of those who would annul the hard-won race and religion laws enacted for the people: those employed by foreigners and those who are conferred titles by people of different races and religions, and those who are already acting as authoritarians before they actually get power,” the message said. “It is of dire importance that such people are not elected.”

Celebrations continued in Mandalay on Monday, with a crowd of around 30,000 participating in a march from a sports ground near Masoeyein Monastery.

Carrying banners that read “women’s security is assured only if national protection is safeguarded” and “the national protection laws are a triumph,” the crowd shouted slogans and sang songs as they proceeded to Mandalay’s famed Mahamuni Pagoda, where they were addressed by firebrand monk U Wirathu.

“The national protection law is meant to protect the Burmese citizens from Islamic jihad,” he told the audience, before launching into a discussion of the large stateless Rohingya Muslim community in northern Arakan State.

“Half of Arakan State, especially in the Buthidaung and Maungdaw areas, is being Islamicized. …The Bengalis come into the area and impregnate the Arakan women,” he said, using the pejorative word for the state’s Rohingya community. “This is one way to occupy the region, by increasing the Islamic population. This is one kind of jihad.”

8 Comments
kay khine aung

The ma ba tha what are you worry? Daw aung san su kyi is seemed like the real buddhism. I trust her that she will do straight foreground or background of public. Someone who become or not an islam depend on his or her mind . If he or she really trusted and obeyed the rules of budddha, it didn’t require to worry to become an islam. So it doesn’t concern with Daw aung san su kyi that a myanmar buddhism to become an islamam and the aslams take place in myanmar. I want to ask you, ma ba tha, that do you obey the all rules of buddha and are you confident yourself that you are a true and real buddhism? I’m a real buddhism and I don’t worry about myself to become an islam and have some islam friends. If you can effort, you should try an islam to become a buddhism by giving the true myitta and trying to see the right damah that cause in the human body, in the universe and to feel real peaceful taste. Thank you.

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Bamar

So we know now the true color of Ma Ba Tha. A proxy religious group of military people. So these military people are using religion as a tools to win the vote. Religion should be out of politics.

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kay khine aung

What do you worry , ma ba tha? Daw aung san su kyi is seemed like a real buddhism and I trust her that she’ll do straight foregroud or background of the public. Someone who become or not an islam depend on his or her mind. If he or she trusted and obeyed the rules of buddha, he or she won’t become an islam. So a myanmar buddhism become an islam and the islams take place in myanmar don’t concern with Daw aung san su kyi. I want to ask you , ma ba tha, that do you obey all of the buddha’s rules and are you confident yourself that you are the real buddhism? I’m a real buddhism and I have some islam friends. You should try an islam to become a buddhism by giving the true mytta and by trying to see the right damah that cause in the human body and in the universe and to feel the real peaceful tase beacause all minds of everybody are innosent and the external factors that is the feeling and the thoughs influence on their acts only.How about don’t you worry christian or Hindu? Thank you.

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Moe

This is new political game with old tactic for me. During the military regime time in Burma, they brainwash the people that regime and military are fighting to defend the nation independent because both foreign super powers(left and right) try to take over the nation .Now they try to tell the people that “NLD is a party of Islamist”. USDP try to lie the people that they are the one try to defend the race and religion. Using the religion as a political tool is dangerous. This is the beginning of state sponsor hate crime.If USDP and his military want to protect the Buddha religion, first of all, they should not shoot and kill the many monks on the street. What kind of people believe that nonsense.?

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Moe

USDP need new political strategy instead of keep saying that NLD is pro Islamist. USDP may be a party of anti Islamist , but they never going to be pro Buddha or nationalist because, In past, they killed hundreds of monk on the street. Now,USDP is politically bankrupt.

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Ginni

Ma Bank Tha is formed by USDP Thein Sein and Wirathu the terrorist of Burma. Now they are very much worried that they are a losing side. Wirathu can bring 20 thousand to support him but the whole nation is going to wipe out and humiliate the USDP party. They are afraid that their luxurious life will stop when they lose. I got only one concern that these so called Ma Ba Tha will create rucksack and that can lead to internal fueds and
fights. And finally the defence minister will show his power by taking over the country with this excuse.
Wirathu and USDP days are numbered. Wirathu is not a genuine monk, his family background proves that he is a thug and he wore the robe of monk to get his stomach filled with free foods.
Why is he after DASSKYI. Did Wirathu’s father fight for Independence of Burma?
Did he do any good for Burma? Who imprisoned earlier and why?
I hope he reads this comments and my advise for him is to get married to a local woman ( hope he gets one) and then work for the country with kind hearted.
There is no place in this world for any racist thugs in this century. Look how EU, Turkey and USA are welcoming the Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees with open arms. May God bless these countries and Burma.

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Norman Hla

Ma Ba tha is women breast interested religious political party, headed by psy wirathu and formed by fox than shwe and his USDP.

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