News

Man faces jail for pulling the plug on Buddhist broadcast

Man faces jail for pulling the plug on Buddhist broadcast

Dutch citizen Klaas Haytema, 30, above, is awaiting trial on a charge of insulting religion by disconnecting an amplifier broadcasting a late-night sermon from a Buddhist hall in the tourist city of Mandalay in northern Myanmar.

Haytema, according to this report, silenced the amplifier because:

I wanted to sleep desperately. I couldn’t stand the noise. I am really sorry and I really apologise.

The man who was reciting the sermon pressed charges against Haytema for insulting the Buddhism.

A local legal officer decided that the alleged offence was serious enough to warrant a criminal trial. The offence carries a two-year jail sentence.

In a further blow to Haytema, immigration officials have also charged him with violating the terms of his visa.

Local immigration department head Thaung Dan said that Haytema had breached two provisions in the visa: that visitors should follow the existing laws of Myanmar, as well as the customs of Myanmar.

If someone applies for a visa to enter Myanmar, they have to follow the rules and regulations laid out in the visa.

Mandalay is an especially culturally and religiously conservative region.

philip-blackwood-kns-1_8ee1b07e9327ae21137cfc2662ef6eeb-nbcnews-fp-1680-600-630x355

A while back, New Zealander Philip Blackwood, above, and two colleagues were sentenced to two and a half years in prison after a picture of Buddha was posted on Facebook.

An online flyer promoting Blackwood’s VGastro bar and restaurant included a “psychedelic” depiction of Buddha wearing headphones and was used in 2014 to promote cheap drinks at the venue. Blackwood was released on amnesty 10 months into his sentence.

In July, a Spanish tourist was reportedly kicked out of Myanmar after monks in the ancient town of Bagan took offence over an exposed Buddha tattoo on one of his legs.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that nine Australians were arrested for stripping down to brief swimwear at the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.

The group, branded the “Budgie Nine”, were charged with public nuisance, which carries a fine but no jail time.

The men were detained after posing in swimwear decorated with the Malaysian flag to celebrate Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s win in Sunday’s race.

In a letter read out in court, they apologised and expressed their “deepest regret”.

They said the incident was “purely an error of judgement” on their behalf.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake and BarrieJohn (Malaysia report)

15 responses to “Man faces jail for pulling the plug on Buddhist broadcast”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Of course, the Buddha wasn’t divine…

  2. 1859 says:

    ‘…broadcasting a late-night sermon from a Buddhist hall…’
    Sounds like a case of subliminal advertising to me.
    Just imagine, after a hard days graft, you turn the light out, your head hits the pillow, and someone starts yelling ‘Rise up! Rise up! Jesus loves you and is knocking at the door! The flesh of christ is upon you! Come on you sinners!’

  3. barriejohn says:

    1859: The Plymouth Brethren (in many localities) used to bang on about the “darkness” that abounded all around, and the “opposition” that they invariably met from local residents – this when they went out every Sunday afternoon, sometimes with enormous loudspeakers, disturbing the peace on local housing estates with their hymns and “Jesus loves you” message. Of course, the “antagonism” from the local populace was just a sign that the words were “speaking to them”, and that they were “coming under conviction of sin”, and nothing to do with the fact that their peace had been shattered once again. I thought about that straight away when I read this story; they’re all the same under the skin!

  4. Dead Orc Map says:

    Load speakers and religion do not mix!

  5. RussellW says:

    I don’t have any sympathy for any religion, however Westerners should really get the message. They’re in a foreign country where the laws and mores are different, and often oppressive. The fact they need a passport is a clue.
    When in Rome.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    Russell, “When in Rome” is probably one of the most often quoted phrases in the English language, it is also a piece of advice that is almost equally often ignored.

  7. Robster says:

    Barriejohn says”Of course, the Buddha wasn’t divine…” seems the weight challenged old thing wasn’t even nice.

  8. RussellW says:

    Stephen,
    Yes, however it’s still wise advice. Another piece of frequent advice that’s often ignored is that the police and border security agencies in country X are a lot smarter than the average drug mule.

    Robster
    He certainly wasn’t a family man.

  9. barriejohn says:

    According to some, the Buddha, like Jesus and maybe Mohammed (PHUKIM), was either a mythical figure, or a real person whose life was mythologized:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/buddha.htm

    On these grounds it is submitted that the figure of the Buddha, in its most plausibly rationalized form, is as unhistorical as that of the gospel Jesus. Each figure shows how the religious mind manufactured a myth in a period in which the making of primary Gods had given way to the making of Secondary-gods. The mythopoeic process satisfied the craving for a Teacher-god who should originate religious and moral ideas as the earlier gods had been held to originate agriculture, art, medicine, law and civilization.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Did anyone else watch Chris Packham’s Nature’s Weirdest Events this week, featuring the chimpanzees’ strange rituals? I had read about this previously, and it is certainly quite unsettling, with similarities to 2001 and Planet of the Apes. One can easily surmise that we are witnessing the beginnings of ritualistic behaviour here (41:40):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07ykfb5/natures-weirdest-events-series-5-episode-2

  11. Big Al says:

    He has been totally Buddha-ed by the many long arms of childish petulant religious bigotry.

  12. Laura Roberts says:

    Just FYI, the Thinking Atheist podcast covered Buddhism recently; worth a listen if you’re not up to speed on the details.

    @barriejohn: sounds a bit like Frans de Waal’s work. Some years ago he described proto-ritual behaviour in his book “Good Natured”.

  13. L.Long says:

    “…Mandalay is an especially culturally and religiously conservative region….”
    Translation…a land controlled by ahole bigots that are afraid so many will show their mythical gawd is a powerless worthless ahole like they are! But if you don’t have more power then the state in a theocracy, you better stay out or tread lightly!!!

  14. Trevor Blake says:

    It’s only fair. I read about a series of beheadings, grooming, bombings and shootings carried out by Muslims in secular, Christian majority countries. The result was the same: caution from leaders against a backlash against Muslims. Wait, no, that’s not fair or the same at all. The evidence is western nations must respect other cultures, and other cultures must be respected.

    I find no culture and no religion to be sacred.

  15. steve says:

    Buddhism is not a religion. If anyone knows anything about the true philosophy that constitutes buddhism they would know that a true buddhist would not care in the slightest about a loudspeaker being turned off or a buddha tattoo. The fact that such nonsense is illegal shows just how stupid human beings are.