As reported in The Irrawaddy the NLD official Htin Lin Oo has been condemned for criticising the use of Buddhism in Burma to promote religious nationalism.
The Patriotic Buddhist Monks Union issued a statement saying that:
‘In the past, NLD was the party which all Burmese citizens relied upon, supported and respected. But deliberately offending people who do not support the NLD anymore for various reasons would lead to a great blow to the NLD’s image.’
In a speech lasting over two hours certain parts of Htin Lin Oo’s speech have become the object of criticism on social media. In one part he states:
‘Buddha is not Burmese, not Shan, not Karen—so if you want to be an extreme nationalist and if you love to maintain your race that much, don’t believe in Buddhism.’
Htin Lin Oo has urged people to listen to the entire speech, seemingly aware of the offense he has caused to some monastics. However, it could be argued that such sentiments are badly needed in the religious debate within Burma.