Buddhism and State Power in Myanmar

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Extreme Buddhist nationalist positions including hate speech and violence are on the rise in Myanmar.

Rather than ineffective bans on broad-based groups like the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion (MaBaTha), the government should address underlying causes and reframe the debate on Buddhism’s place in society and politics.

Executive Summary

The August 2017 attacks by al-Yaqin or Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which the Myanmar government has designated a terrorist organisation, have pushed Rakhine state into renewed crisis.

Bood 2bThey also are being used by radical Buddhist nationalists in the rest of the country to promote their agenda.

While dynamics at play in Rakhine are mostly driven by local fears and grievances, the current crisis has led to a…

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