06/05/2019, 12.45
MYANMAR
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Yangon, "Buddhist bin Laden" is a fugitive. New arrest warrant

Wirathu, an ultranationalist monk, is accused of sedition. Yesterday the religious did not appear at the West District Court of Yangon. The authorities want to try the religious for his "obscene and personal" statements against Aung San Suu Kyi.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - The Buddhist "Bin Laden" is on the run: Wirathu, an ultra-nationalist Burmese monk (photo), yesterday failed to comply with a summons order from the judges of the West District Court of Yangon, to answer the accusations of sedition.

The authorities issued a new arrest warrant for the religious, known for his hatred of Islam and in particular the Rohingya Muslim community. It follows the one formulated last May 28 by the Myanmar police, which the monk had promised to "face". This was stated by U Min Thant, head of court communications.

U Khin Maung Myint, the monk's defense attorney, states: "The fact that U Winrathu faces another warrant will not affect the initial charges filed against him; the initial charges will remain effective as long as he does not appear in court. Only when he is arrested or he turns himself over to police will the new warrant be dropped. Action will continue to be taken for the original charges of sedition. “Since he is now considered a fugitive from the law, members of the public can report to the police if he is sighted ".

In March 2017, the State Sangha Maha Nayaka - the highest authority of the Burmese Buddhist clergy - prevented Wirathu from speaking in public for a year. After the announcement, the abbot took part in a series of pro-military demonstrations. Wirathu accuses the government of Aung San Suu Kyi of favoring Muslims and of not protecting Buddhist traditions and culture, a task which in his opinion is carried out only by the army. The first arrest warrant was issued following the announcement by the Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture that the monk would be tried for "obscene and personal" statements against the democratic leader.

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