World Bulletin / News Desk
The Voice Daily local newspaper reported that the Ayeyawaddy regional government denied the request for a public sermon by Wirathu, a prominent but controversial monk who once appeared on the cover of Time magazine described as “The face of Buddhist terror?” for his anti-Muslim speeches.
Kyaw Myint, a spokesperson for the regional government, told the paper that the ban of the monk’s public sermon was to avoid an unnecessary situation in the area.
“The decision was made at the meeting of the regional government,” the daily quoted him as saying.
The sermon was scheduled to be held on Wednesday in the state capital Pathein, about 200 kilometers west of Yangon, said the organizers.
“Authorities denied the request, citing the complex situation in the country,” said Zaw Win from the Pathein-based Ayeyawaddy Nationalist Network.
But three other monks were permitted to deliver public sermons as planned, said Zaw Win.
The ban came days after the assassination of a high-profile Muslim lawyer in the country.
Ko Ni, a legal advisor to the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), was shot dead by a gunman outside Yangon International Airport on Sunday. A taxi driver was also killed as he attempted to apprehend the gunman.
The suspected assailant Kyi Lin, a 53-year-old man from Mandalay who was released from prison in 2014 under presidential amnesty, was arrested shortly after the shooting.
According to leaked police documents that went viral on social media, the suspect was hired by a man named “Myint Swe” to assassinate Ko Ni.
“He asked me to kill a Kalar, and promised me a car after the assassination,” Kyi Lin was quoted in the documents, using a derogatory term for Muslims.
Police later admitted that the information in the leak documents was accurate.
However, no motive for the killing has emerged as yet.