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Buddhist monk labels UN official ‘a whore’

Buddhist monk labels UN official ‘a whore’

Myanmar’s government is investigating a speech by a Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu in which he called a UN rapporteur a ‘whore’.

South Korean rapporteur Yanghee Lee – according to this report – was in Myanmar last week to highlight the plight of its Muslim minority.

Yanghee Lee

Yanghee Lee

But at a protest against the visit, monk Wirathu told Lee she should have sex with members of the Muslim Rohingya minority if she liked them so much.

Wirathu is a Buddhist nationalist who spent almost a decade in jail for inciting anti-Muslim violence.

Buddhist nationalism, largely led by monks including Wirathu, has been energised since the end of military rule in 2011.

In 2012, scores of people died and thousands were left homeless after violence broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state, mostly from the Rohingya minority. Violence has flared several times since then.

The UN says the Rohingya are being persecuted, and last week passed a resolution calling on Myanmar (also known as Burma) to give them citizenship.

But the Myanmar government views the Rohingya as foreign migrants, and there is widespread public hostility towards them.

During her visit, Lee said Myanmar was in danger of slipping backwards in its transition to democracy since the end of military rule in 2011.

She criticised proposed laws on race and religion which would among other things impose state regulations on religious conversions and restrict interfaith marriages. Activists say these would disproportionately affect Muslims.

She said many people were still living in “abysmal conditions” in camps in Rakhine state after the 2012 violence, and that “collective punishment” of all Muslims in the state for the deeds of a few in the unrest was “not the answer”.

In a speech at the rally against Lee last Froday – which was widely shared online – Wirathu told Lee:

Don’t assume you are a respectable person, just because you have a position in the UN. In our country, you are just a whore.

Monks have been at the forefront of anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar

He later defended his comments, telling the AFP news agency:

If I could find a harsher word, I would have used it. It is nothing compared to what she did to our country.

Wirathu was jailed in 2003 for inciting anti-Muslim violence but was released in 2012 as part of a prisoner amnesty.

He is a leader of the 969 movement, which says Myanmar should remain a Buddhist country and calls for restrictions and boycotts on Muslims.

Information Minister Ye Htut said on his Facebook page that he had asked the ministry of religious affairs to investigate the monk’s comments.

He added that he believed religious leaders should recite speeches reflecting love, compassion, empathy and good ethics.

But the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Yangon says criticism of the comments has been muted because no politicians want the powerful monks to turn on them.

15 responses to “Buddhist monk labels UN official ‘a whore’”

  1. Broga says:

    And I used to think that Buddhists were a cut above the religious persecutors. I don’t think I have any illusions left. Frankie seems to be a lot better than his predecessors? Or is that the result of spin and necessity rather than conviction?

  2. Cali Ron says:

    So much for Buddhism being a peaceful religion. Buddhism, like all religions can be manipulated to serve pretty much any cause, no matter how violent or destructive. Calling a UN rapporteur a whore doesn’t seem very “monk” like. I guess I watched to many episodes of Kung Fu growing up, but I always pictured monks meditating, burning incense and eating rice-not inciting people to kill muslims. Proving, once again that religion truly is the opiate of the people.

  3. Stephen Turner says:

    Ashin Wirathu = Hi. Us want hair.

  4. Brummie says:

    “Religion poisons everything” said the much missed Chritopher Hitchens.

  5. Cali Ron says:

    @ Brummie-
    Indeed on the quote and on missing Hitchens! Even when drunk he had an amazing intellect.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    Sorry to go completely OT here, but I would challenge anybody to watch the following and still believe in some kind of ‘grand designer’. This is just utterly amazing and totally humbling stuff from NASA and the Hubble telescope.

    http://higherperspective.com/2015/01/largest-picture.html?utm_source=HP

  7. L.Long says:

    This actively points to the fact that ALL RELIGIONS are BAD!!! given enough time. Looking at the start and evilution of Buddhism clearly demos this effect,

  8. Robster says:

    I’m a wee bit surprised a monk knows what a whore is. Aren’t monks those funny little people that hide away in special communes on mountain tops enjoying a life of poverty and in the case of Europe, brewing up tasty and now popular alcoholic beverages for the infidels? Maybe monks are different in Burma, being in Asia and all. I suppose nowadays with Google, those isolated monk persons can with a little work learn about things like whores and the missionary position.

  9. jay says:

    Don’t forget the strong Buddhist influence among the Shoguns and Samurai of Japan. Not a very peaceful lot.

  10. 1859 says:

    @AgentCormac: Awesome link – thanks. When you watch something like that and then read some of the religious nonsense displayed on the Freethinker, the utter insignificance of religion is truly overwhelming. Faced with such pictures how can you not doubt the veracity of beheading your neighbour because he breeds pigeons? or denouncing a woman as a witch because the milk has turned sour?

    Can’t wait for the launch of Nasa’s latest space telescope which is apparently 100X more powerful than Hubble – that should pick out god and his angels!

  11. Trevor Blake says:

    Monk Wirathu should only say nice things about Muslims like the leaders of the Western nations. Just look at all the peace and harmony that we have in our countries due to that policy. No beheadings, no rapes, no bombings, no hijackings, no killing cartoonists, only peaceful assimilation. Yes, the leaders of the West have it right and the Buddhists of Myanmar have it wrong.

    I oppose all religion but some are more toxic than others.

  12. Newspaniard says:

    No mention of the fact that all the muslims in the area decided to cross illegally, killing anyone who barred their way. No mention of the daily rape and abuse of any Buddhist child/woman in the area. No mention that they stretched their welcome to breaking point with the crime they imported which eventually caused the monks to fight back. This article and some of the comments are so one sided against the monks, it is beyond belief. The muslims who are waving their victim cards at the UN are doing exactly the same as they do in Europe. They see the sh*t hole that is their own country, that they are too lazy to improve. They look across the border at a better regulated (clean) area and decide to move en-mass and create their usual chaos based on rape and theft. As in Europe, the indigenous population are initially welcoming but when the trickle becomes a flood and the local population have to flee or become victims of rape, theft etc., then someone has to stand up and invite the islamists to leave. Nowhere in Europe has this happened so when in Burma, the monks take a stand and decide to fight back, there is universal condemnation from the craven western politicians, of the left. As for the UN, there is the block vote of the islamists which out vote anyone with a whiff of criticism of their terrible death cult, so, of course, they are going to complain, sending a woman to complain about the treatment of these rapists is quite ironic.

  13. Broga says:

    @AgentCormac: WOW! That view of Andromeda was scary and wonderful. Just one galaxy with so much potential for life, and so much we cannot even imagine, to exist. This unutterable, stunning vastness reduces to farce the idea that humans are the one beloved of God.

    For me it demonstrates the clear fact that religion is petty, it restricts, it chains the mind and attempts to block and ground in the gutter of superstition the imagination. I’m lucky to be able to see the stars on many nights as there are no street lights but the Andromeda views provides an entirely new perspective.

    Thanks. That was an authentic new experience.

  14. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Robster:
    Up to a point. “Monks” in SE Asia are not generally the same as in Europe. Being a monk for up to a year is part of growing up for young men and confers some honour on his family at the same time. Monasteries are not usually enclosed and the “monks” are expected to take part in community social work, much of which is still religion-based. So, yes, they could easily be aware of “Whores”.
    It’s the nationalism and incitement to violence that I find worrying as that is not easily discernible in the surviving teachings of Prince Gautama.