Monk who decried Sangha corruption continues to be banned from preaching
A BAN remains in place against prominent monk U Pinnyasiha, who had previously attacked the Buddhist clergy for alleged corruption and abuse of powers.
On November 21, a full sitting of the 47-member State Sangha Maha Nakaya Committee (Ma Ha Na) discussed the February 2015 gag order on U Pinnyasiha, also known as Shwe Nya Wa Sayadaw.
The outspoken monk and said the influence of religious leaders was too strong, and called senior clerics “privileged persons above the law”.
Ma Ha Na imposed a preaching ban on U Pinnyasiha in 2015 for allegedly speaking out of line with Buddhist doctrine and disobeying his superiors.
The Ma Ha Na upheld the 2015 verdict after the recent gathering. The possibility of action being taken against him under the Sangha Organisation Law is still on the table.
The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee is a government-appointed body of high-ranking Buddhist monks that regulates the Buddhist clergy.
The 52-year-old monk filed an appeal to Ma Ha Na two months ago for a review, saying that the ban had been put in place under the former administration.
U Pinnyasiha conceded that the contents of a now-infamous speech was driven by a sense of injustice under the former government. However, he said, he is now living peacefully, and quietly, in Hmawbi township and is no longer preaching overseas. In his letter of appeal U Pinnyasiha said that he wished to apologise and atone for his past behavior, and that he waits with hope for such a time that the orders against him are revoked.
He had been a vocal opponent of the 969 movement, and called for calm and tolerance in the wake of the communal violence that swept Meiktila in 2013.
U Pinnyasiha’s nationwide preaching ban had no time limit, and has been consistently renewed by Ma Ha Na.
U Pinnyasiha speaks in Yangon in December 2011.