Wirathu Warning Shot to NLD on ‘Race and Religion’ Laws

The firebrand monk has expressed doubt over the NLD’s ability to govern, and warned that he will work to protect from repeal the four ‘race and religion’ laws.

RANGOON — In the wake of Sunday’s landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD), outspoken firebrand monk U Wirathu has expressed doubt over the party’s ability to govern, and warned that he will work to protect the recently enacted ‘race and religion’ legislative package from any attempts at repeal.

By 3pm on Thursday, the NLD had won 291 seats in the Union Parliament, 38 shy of what the party needs for a majority with 132 contests yet to be called.

Wirathu, a leading figure in the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that he did not believe the party had the ability to ensure a smooth transition to a new government, while conceding that the party was the overwhelming choice of the people in Sunday’s poll.

“This will be a good game to watch if they know how to play it smartly,” he said. “But if they keep acting in their old style, the political situation will not be stable. We love democratic government indeed, but they do not have good experience.”

The association, also known by its Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha, lobbied the government heavily over the so-called “race and religion” legislative package, which places new criminal sanctions on polygamy and adultery, adds restrictions to religious conversions and interfaith marriage, and gives the government new powers to implement birth control measures.

Rights groups and other observers have alleged that the four laws, enacted by the Union Parliament earlier this year, were aimed at Burma’s Muslim population, estimated to comprise about 5 percent of the country’s population and the perennial target of Ma Ba Tha’s sermons, rallies, teaching programs and publications.

In September, Ma Ba Tha began a fortnight of public rallies across the country, congratulating President Thein Sein for passing the laws and suggesting that the NLD would be beholden to the nation’s Muslim community, in what critics deemed an unconstitutional intervention in the election campaign by members of the Buddhist clergy.

On Wednesday, Wirathu claimed that the four laws had broad support among the country’s Buddhist majority, and said that monks aligned with his nationalist movement would work to ensure the measures remained on the statute books.

“Ma Ba Tha will stand within the rule of law and will keep fighting for our rights,” he said. “About 5 million people supported and signed a democratic petition to have these laws and the Parliament passed it. We hope these laws will continue to exist.”

The nature of the relationship between Ma Ba Tha and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is much debated. Senior Ma Ba Tha figures have denied receiving financial support from the soon-to-be-former ruling party, but leading figures have been a regular presence at Ma Ba Tha rallies, particularly in the Irrawaddy Delta.

In September, Myanmar Now reported that outgoing Irrawaddy Division Chief Minister Thein Aung had colluded with the association to close down Muslim-owned slaughterhouse businesses. The cattle were then shipped to Arakanese Buddhist farmers who had returned from Bangladesh to settle in Maungdaw, a majority Muslim township on the Bangladeshi border.

Additional reporting by Sean Gleeson.

Sai Lin Kan

I’m very much Buddhist but I don’t respect what U Wirathu is doing because he has breaking the rule of Buddhism. If he want to do Politic and then he must leave Buddhist Monastery. Otherwise, he must shut his mouth up on politic.


Wiratha has no political skills. He is a monk. And thus he should keep away from making this kind of remarks.\The people has voted and he has to abide to that. Before the ‘government’ was not elected. It was a junta in disguise. Now it is time for him to return to his monastery and devote his time to what the Buddha taught him what to do as monk. So should all of us.


Now that the opposition NLD party is on the verge of an historic landslide victory, the day of reckoning is finally here for U Wirathu. He double downed and bet on the ruling USDP party to win and caused all kinds of mischief, but they lost mightily. So now it’s payback time.

In a fledgling democracy with multiple ethnicities and religions, there is no place for his “toxic” version of racial purity and racial segregation. He has to be silenced and de-fanged. He and his followers who instigated ethnic riots against minorities have to be brought to justice. In my opinion, Wirathu is not a monk and he is not practicing the true teachings of Buddhism, which is the most gentle religion among all the major religions. He is a nationalist politician wrapped in saffron robes. He needs to be stripped off his saffron robe, expelled from the monkhood.Until his version of filth and poison is removed from society, Myanmar will never be truly free.

Ma Ya Na

Wirathu and his imbeciles ( including those in Thein Sein’s Government ) give a very bad name to Buddhism.


Wirathu is an insult to democratic institution, a shame to Buddhist religion and a disgrace for Burma. Democracy stands for freedom not restriction. Democracy promotes tolerance and respect not racism and insolence. Democracy embraces heterogeneity not homogeneity. Democracy advances future generation towards light not darkness. One of the fundamental reasons of humiliating USDP defeat in recent election is due to alliance with Ma Ba Tha. NLD should be cautious in talk and walk with them. Buddhist philosophy and values are way humane than representation of the racist group Ma Ba Tha.


This wiratu must put behind lock up and he should be han to dead because he already been to lock up before he is not real budist monk ,current miltrary government make him budist monk he is puppet of miltrary government he should be kill by shoot to dead or he will be hang to dead base on what he did pass 3years in myanmar and including his follower and all 969 group now myanmar people give you last chance whether you will run away or you have to sucide your self you have very limited time and time are running out start countting your time from now on and your group

Win Myint

The victory of NLD has another subtle meaning, that is, majority of Burmese are simple peace loving people who do not represent the extreme element such as ma ba tha. Five million signatures mentioned in your article is an example of coerced rather than willing ones.


Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a Buddhist and she married to a Buddhist husband (even though he was a British). They did extensive research on Buddhism. With Daw Suu’s international experience, she could revive to flourish Buddhism in Burma which can attract international devotees. While majority of Burmese are devoted to Buddhism, the religion is open to anyone other than Burmese. The entire Buddhist institution of Burma (all monasteries) will soon be able to enjoy true teaching of Buddhism without distraction and political intimidation. Burma could host the International Centre for Buddhist Study ( in a form of University).
This enormous potential could be tarnished by so called Ma Ba Tha and its personalities, with inflamed hatred towards wrong and unrelated targets.
The recent election result shows that the objective, slogans of Ma Ba Tha and its political deal with USDP is not with in the hearts and minds of Burmese Buddhist. Burmese people are not stupid and they exactly know what is in true teaching of Lord Buddha.

Oo Kyaw

I really wonder if U Wirathu is really a true practicing monk. If he is he is violating every principle that are so close to the hear of Buddhism. He is not about peace love and tranquility, but rather he is about planting false ideology about a race of people. I believe he is a plant by the ruling party and using his robe as a front for political means. He is a extreme in his thinking and certainly uses it to his advantage to intimidate the masses. He might as well take off the robe and put on a military uniform and quit lying. He is a disgrace to the people of Myanmar as well as to to the Buddhist Faith. He needs to be taken out of his post NOW before he has the opportunity to pollute more minds with his evil philosophy and racist ideology.

Daw Ohnmar

Even the chief of the Tatmadaw. and the President of the outgoing government congratulated Daw ASSK and the NLD on their land slide victory at the polls. The people want her to lead the country, that is why NLD won the vote.

But what does this stupid person in yellow robe do?
The votes are not yet completely counted, when he raises his voice to throw mud at the winners of the election.
He gives a bad name to Burmese Buddhism.
Myanmar monks are becoming internationally known as narrow minded nationalists suppressing women..

PB Publico

If this abominable monk – I wouldn’t address him the venerable – keeps going the same old way, he will get crushed and eliminated from Buddhist monk-hood. For Buddhist monk-hood is holy and worthy of worship. Not this impostor. He does not understand the thoughts and behaviour of lay people, leave alone the complexity of politics. If he wants to prove any worthiness, he should be able to carry out the Buddhist Mission work that involves convincing and converting non-Buddhists, spread Words of Truth about Buddhism. He must first convince his attendants of the Five Precepts for lay people, and non-violation of the 227 rules of conduct for monks. Hasn’t he broken any of the 227 codes when he swore and abused a woman who was only doing her job? Hasn’t he committed a big offense when he, knowingly or not, divides the lay people and monks alike when he preached hating and hurting other people?

Maung Naing

Wirathu is nobody without Thein Sein in power. He can bark like a mad dog but eventually his correct place is jail. Nobody likes an extremist like Wirathu in any country. Not only in Burma.


I am sick and tired of this rhetoric. Please stop preaching hate. It’s time for reconcilliation, time to move forward. Burma has never seen such a hopeful time like this.

San Lynn

Eighty-percent of the people have voted for NLD, thus rejecting Wirathu’s false accusations against that party. He should take it as a vote against his policy of hate speech, Nazi-type nationalism and violence against the minority. People have loudly and fearfully rejected his calls not to vote for NLD. If he really had thought that he had big following among the people than he should have left monkhood and stood against the NLD to further his agenda. Then he could have realized the amount of support for him. Now that his campaign has failed miserably he should have no right to comment anything about NLD.

San Lynn

Please read “fearlessly” instead of “fearfully” in my comment above. Sorry for the error.

H Cong

Religion And Politics Do Not Mixed. President Of Modi Is Promotion Hinduism. Middle East Promoting Islam, Malaysia Is Promotion Malay Race/Islam. Now Myanmar Is Promotion Buddhism. Learn From Sri Lanka What Happen When Their Monks Takes To Politics ??


We should have independent “All Myanmar Buddhist comitee” with “clear definition” of following Buddha’s teaching, which also have the power to strip any monk deviating from this guidline (like Wirathu).
I mean REAL independent Buddhist body and not puppet of any group or government.
This body should guide us all for religious harmony in Myanmar.


His mouth is bigger than his head and his nose is longer than his hand . Uneducated retard man not monk.

shwe moe

Wirathu is a wolf in sheep clothing; it is time to defrock this pretentious monk who mat be on the pay roll of USDP. He is no monk, he is a Military Taliban in an orange robes. He is divisive, cunning and brutish at worst a beast. Th

shwe moe

Wirathu is no monk; he is a wolf in sheep clothing. He is probably on the pay roll of the USDP.
He is divisive, cunning, abrasive and brutal to the core. The yellow robe is more than a camouflage for his olive green. He should be defrocked, to put the Gautama to peace who is rolling in his grave with this evil impersonator.


Wirathu is a Poison in Buddhism…….. meddled the community affairs……incite racial disharmony… … subjective matrimonial laws based upon religion… encourage short sighted views…and all his practices and preaches are NOT in line with the teaching of Buddha…… He should be dis-robed and should expel from the practice of religion with immediate effect


Shin Wirathu has certain accomplishments, for which he should take credit. Now is the time for him to avoid erasing his gains and stay quiet.

Actually, it was the military, who contain terrorists, and avoid spread of Arakan -like terror through out the nation.

US and UK, now France are reeling from such elements.

I hope the out going administration will advise [taken or not] the incoming administration , after all, we all love our land and people.

I hope Shin Wirathu will recite Ma Ma Moe’s comment three times along with tradional prayer, if he prays at all.

A monk who discards SILA, WE NEE, Pyin Nyats and precepts is not a monk at all. People may slowly discard him, and may end up with an empty bowl like some Yatheiks at DAYSUMP

Zung Ring

Wirathu has four daughters from early marriage before taking monkshood. Because of his daughters, he is worried and protecting these four ‘race and religion’ laws. So, I can understand his concerns.

2nd Rangoon



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