Myanmar jails Dutch man for unplugging religious sermon

Man given 3 months prison after unplugging amplifier used during religious worship saying noise keeping him awake

Myanmar jails Dutch man for unplugging religious sermon

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Dutch citizen was sentenced to three months prison in Myanmar on Thursday after he was found guilty of pulling the plug on a late night religious sermon in the predominantly Buddhist country.

Hla Myint, a tourist police officer from Mandalay, told Anadolu Agency that a local court had handed Klaas Haytema the sentence and a fine of 100,000 Kyats ($80) for violating visa regulations and insulting religion after he unplugged an amplifier used during religious worship.

Haytema has said that the noise was disturbing his sleep.

According to local media reports, on Sept. 23 the man angrily entered a Mandalay religious community hall without taking off his shoes, and then unplugged the amplifier.

Soldiers and police then had to protect Haytema from an angry mob who surrounded his hotel and demanded he be handed over.

“I wanted to sleep desperately. I couldn’t stand the noise and checked outside the hotel,” he was quoted as saying by the Irrawaddy online newspaper.

“I was not aware that the building was related to Buddhism... I was very angry, and assumed that children were playing music, so I went down to the building and unplugged the wires."

Buddhist holidays are often celebrated with music, dance, stage performances and carnivals in Myanmar.

Kyaw San, the leader of the hall who filed the case against the tourist, told Anadolu Agency by phone last week that Haytema entered the building around 9 p.m. (0330GMT), and the hall had applied for permission to use loudspeaker.

“We know it is quite noisy, but he should show respect to us and our religion,” he said.

Residents of densely populated cities in Myanmar have been demanding stricter rules and regulations to control the use of loudspeakers in the country’s many religious festivals.

The predominantly Buddhist country is deeply devout and several foreigners have recently been found guilty of insulting Buddhism.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ekim 2016, 13:44