Dutch tourist charged for insulting religion
A DUTCH citizen has been arrested for outraging religious sentiments after unplugging the amplifier used by monks to broadcast a sermon. Klaas Haytema, 30, of Wans in the Netherlands, is due to appear in court today.
Mr Haytema is accused of disconnecting the amplifier at about 10pm on September 23 outside his hotel near Thusarita Dhammaryone, a religious community hall in Yadanar Bomme East ward of Maha Aung Myay township, Mandalay Region.
Soldiers had to be summoned to protect him from an angry crowd that surrounded his hotel and demanded that he be handed over to them. They dispersed only when the authorities promised to take legal action against him.
“The foreigner has been detained in police custody because the immigration department and the head of the sermon recital team are pressing charges,” said Police Captain Hla Myint of the tourist police.
U Kyaw San, who was delivering the sermon, filed charges at the police station in Maha Aung Myay township under section 295 of the penal code for intending to insult religious feelings or beliefs, and under section 4 (2) and 13 (1) of the Myanmar Immigration Law.
“In the three-month period of Buddhist lent, our ward recites sermons every night before the Sabbath day. The foreigner came and unplugged the cord connected to the amplifier,” said Ko Phone Myint, a resident of the ward.
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun