One of Myanmar’s most prominent ultra-nationalist monks was denied bail on Tuesday after he was arrested charges of inciting unrest in an anti-Rohingya protest held outside the US Embassy last year.
The Buddhist abbot, Parmaukkha, was detained over the weekend in a rare move against hardline clergymen who have fanned hatred against the persecuted Muslim Rohingya — a group recently targeted by a deadly military crackdown in Rakhine state.
The monk, who appeared in court on Tuesday in layman’s clothes, has been charged over his role in an April 2016 protest outside the US Embassy that denounced the American government’s use of the term ‘Rohingya’.
The proper name for the Muslim minority is rejected by many Buddhists and government officials in Myanmar, who deny the existence of a Rohingya ethnicity and insist the group are illegal “Bengali” immigrants — a description the Rohingya view as pejorative.
The monk was greeted by dozens of tearful supporters outside the Yangon court, where judges set the next hearing for November 21.
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