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Myanmar Commission Slams UN for “Smear Campaigning”

By Kalinga Seneviratne, IDN-InDepthNews, 10 August 2017

YANGON, Myanmar -- A Myanmar government commission that investigated allegations made by an international human rights organisation and the media about the country’s security forces abusing the human rights of Muslims known as Rohingyas in Rakhine State has found these allegations to be “unproven” and slammed its critics, including the United Nations, for carrying out an international “smear campaign” against the country.

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Thailand monks: Wirapol Sukphol case highlights country's Buddhism crisis

By Jonathan Head BBC News, 22 July 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- It was a jarring image; a group of Buddhist monks, with shaven heads and orange robes, sitting back in the soft-leather seats of an executive jet, passing luxury accessories among themselves.

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Myanmar State Buddhist Authority Stands its Ground

By Htun Htun & Pe Thet Htet Khin, the Irrawaddy, 18 July 2017

YANGON, Myanmar -- The State Buddhist Sangha authority - also known by its Myanmar acronym Ma Ha Na - will not issue further instructions regarding the signboards of Buddhist ultranationalist association Ma Ba Tha, said Sayadaw Bhaddanta Pandavabhivamsa, a Ma Ha Na member.

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Thailand to check monks' bad habits with 'smart ID cards'

AFP, July 14, 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand’s Buddhist monks could soon be issued “smart ID cards” flagging any drug or criminal records, in the latest move by the junta to restore the tarnished image of the men in orange robes.

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Religion minister refuses to resign, pledges to ‘purify’ Buddhism

Coconuts Yangon, Jun. 29, 2017

Yangon, Myanmar -- Religious and cultural affairs minister Thura U Aung Ko told reporters in Naypyidaw yesterday that he will not give in to demands to resign, saying: “I was not appointed by [nationalist protesters], but by the leader democratically elected by the people.”

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Full disclosure on the menu for temples

The Bangkok Post, 16 Jun 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- The government will propose a law to force its tens of thousands of Buddhist temples to declare their finances, the head of the National Office of Buddhism told Reuters.

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Rakhine Protesters Demand UN Protect Buddhist Chakma in Bangladesh

By Moe Myint, The Irrawaddy, 15 June 2017

YANGON, Myanmar -- The Arakan National Party (ANP) led 300 people, including Buddhist monks and local Arakanese, in a protest outside the UN offices in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State on Wednesday, urging the agency to protect the Buddhist minority Chakma in Bangladesh.

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Myanmar: Ma Ba Tha ordered to cease all activities by State Sangha Committee

By MRATT KYAW THU, Myanmar Frontier, May 23, 2017

YANGON, Myanmar -- Hardline nationalist group Ma Ba Tha has been ordered to cease all activities by the middle of July or face legal action, after a decision by senior clerical leaders.

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Floral floats to mark colourful Wesak Day procession

The Star, 10 May 2017

GEORGE TOWN, Penang (Malaysia) -- A float bearing a 3m-tall statue of Buddha stands proud with thousands of flowers donated by devotees at the Malaysian Buddhist Association premises in Burmah Road.

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Thousands turn up at temple for rituals ahead of Vesak Day

The Straits Times, May 10, 2017

Singapore -- More than 20,000 people turned up at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery to perform rituals in reverence of Buddha - the founder of Buddhism - yesterday on the eve of Vesak Day.

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