Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Burma Sues Author For Insultig Buddhism

In Burma last month, an official of the Department of Immigration in northwestern Chaung-U Township, at the request of local Buddhist clergy, filed a lawsuit against prominent writer and National League for Democracy member Htin Lin Oo, charging him with violation of Burmese statutes prohibiting the causing of religious offense.  Irrawaddy reported yesterday on the suit filed Nov. 20 which grew out of a two-hour speech that Htin Lin Oo delivered at a literary event on Oct. 23.  In the speech, he decried those who use Buddhism as an excuse for prejudice and discrimination. When a 10-minute excerpt from the speech was widely shared on social media, the Patriotic Buddhist Monks Union issued statement denouncing it. Htin Lin Oo says that people should listen to the entire speech before they react.  The suit charges Htin Lin Oo with violating Myanmar Penal Code Sec. 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and Sec. 298 (Uttering words, etc; with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings).