Monk who de­cried Sangha cor­rup­tion con­tin­ues to be banned from preach­ing

The Myanmar Times - - News - Aungkyawmin@mm­times.com AUNG KYAW MIN

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.

Photo: Kaung Htet

U Pin­nyasiha speaks in Yan­gon in De­cem­ber 2011.

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