Myanmar: Anti-Muslim monks meet to defend new race laws

YANGON – Myanmar’s self-appointed guardians of race and religion have taken to a stage in the country’s national stadium to declare their anti-Muslim politics as “necessary under the circumstances”.

Speaking in Yangon at the finale of a two-week national tour for the newly enacted race and religion protection laws, Ma Ba Tha has declared that their political work was required to protect the country’s majority Buddhist population during what it called a period of transition.

The saffron-robed guardians monks are challenging the ruling government and Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party in the Nov. 8 election — the country’s first since a nominally civilian government was introduced in 2011, ending nearly 50 years of military rule.