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In Myanmar, monks protest over US Embassy using “Rohingya’ term for Bengali Muslims

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April 28, 2016. MYANMAR: Buddhists monks along with several other protesters confronted the United States for using the term ‘Rohingya’ to refer a Bengali Muslims ethnic minority group. On Thursday, the protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy, Yangon, and carried slogan boards proclaiming “No more use of the term ‘Rohingya”, “U.S. Embassy get out if you say more,” and “We request the present authorities of the state to announce the truth that Rohingyas are not Myanmar citizens at all.” They marched from the Yongon University to U.S. Embassy confronting the statement issued on April 20.

The protestors -many were Monks- insisted that the ethnic minority of Muslims should rather be called ‘Bengalis’ and regarded as illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh as there is no ethnicity of ‘Rohingya’ in their country. Despite many of the ancestors of the minority group have lived in Myanmar for generations, they are denied of basic rights and even citizenship as the country officially does not recognize Rohigya as an ethnic group.

The protest was ignited by the statement of U.S. Embassy referring minority group as Rohigya and expressing sympathies for the people, who drowned off the shore of Rakhine State on April 19.

Many of the people of the group are living in poor conditions in filthy displacement camps after being forced to flee their homes over the conflict erupted in the western state of Rakhine in 2012 which raised tensions between Buddhists of Rakhine and the Muslim group. They are restricted to travel freely in the country, to higher education and even to marry or have children without official permission.

Earlier this month, United Nations had given 100 days to Myanmar’s current civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) to improve living conditions for this minority group.

Prepared by Pashciema with input from VOA.

 

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India-Trained ‘Wrongly Educated’ Monks Banned by China

China has banned India-trained "wrongly educated" monks from teaching Buddhism, fearing they may be of "separatist" bend. The ban was imposed by a county in China's Southwest province in Sichuan, according to the state-run Global Times.

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Buddhist Monks Praying at Wedding Ceremony

China has banned India-trained “wrongly educated” monks from teaching Buddhism, fearing they may be of “separatist” bend.

The ban was imposed by a county in China’s Southwest province in Sichuan, according to the state-run Global Times.

An official said on Monday that “monks wrongly educated in India were banned from teaching Buddhism to residents of Litang county”.

Buddhism is one of the five officially recognised religions in China.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

China accuses Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of secessionist activities in Tibet where most people follow Buddhism.

The county Litang stages patriotic education classes every year for those educated and awarded Gexe Lharampa, the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhist studies in India, an official from Litang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau told the Global Times.

Those who behaved improperly at the patriotic classes or showed “any signs of separatist intent” are strictly monitored and banned from teaching Buddhism to the public, said the official who refused to be named.

The university has compiled and published 31 volumes from the photocopies of ancient Tibetan literature since 2005 and the figure is expected to increase to 45 in the following two to three years.
Monks, pixabay

China has its own criteria to award Gexe Lharampa. Candidates have to pass Chinese Buddhist tests and a sutra debate.

Also Read: Buddhism Speaks: Evils and Morals

Those awarded the degree overseas are not acknowledged by China and are not qualified to teach Buddhism in the country, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times.

Some 105 monks in Tibet have been awarded the Chinese Buddhist version of the degree since 2004, the Xinhua news agency reported. (IANS)