In a story published by Eleven Media it is reported that Lower House National League for Democracy MP Min Thu has apologised to members of the Burmese Buddhist Sangha for remarks that he made on his Facebook page. He had posted the story ‘Nay Pyi Taw, where some monks are meddling in the situation’ It claimed that monks from Yamethin, Ottara and Dekkhina Districts had been taken to Naypyidaw by car to a ceremony in support of anti-interracial marriage law at Uppatasanti Pagoda.
‘The Sayadaw secretary from Yamethin Township, the Sangha Maha Nayaka committee, and the Sayadaw chairperson from Lewe Township were being led by the nose…Under the pretext of anti-Islamism, some monks did not understand that the movements are intended to oppose the NLD and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. And it seemed that they became like the Ayatollah, the late Iranian religious leader that they don’t like. This [celebration] was timed to coincide with a plan to remove monasteries by using forest laws’ claimed Min Thu in his Facebook post.
In his apology he asked for forgiveness for his comments ‘that undermined the dignity of Sangha members and were an affront to parents, elders and teachers, and even his own belief in Buddhism.’ He added that ‘I made such an apology because of my belief in Buddhism. It came from my own religious conviction.’
In a separate development President Thein Sein expressed his support for laws banning marriage between Buddhist women and non-Buddhist men.
This is one of four laws being drafted by the Organisation for Protection of Nation, Race and Religion (OPNRR): the Faith Conversion Bill; the Marriage Bill, the Monogamy Law; and the Population Control Law.
‘The interfaith marriage bill, if enacted, would mean a non-Buddhist man who wants to marry a Buddhist must convert to her faith, or face a 10-year jail sentence.
The text would not apply restrictions to marriages between Buddhist men and non-Buddhist women.
The draft laws could be presented to parliament for a vote as early as next month.’