Mass Myanmar monk rally backs anti-Rohingya plan
YANGON (AFP) - Hundreds of Buddhist monks marched in Myanmar on Sunday to support President Thein Sein's suggestion that Muslim Rohingya be deported or held in camps, in the biggest rally since the end of junta rule.
Lines of clerics wearing their traditional deep red robes passed through the streets of Mandalay flanked by crowds of supporters in scenes not witnessed since a monk-led protest in 2007, which was brutally crushed by the country's then military leaders.
"Protect Mother Myanmar by supporting the President," read one banner, while others criticised United Nations (UN) human rights envoy Mr Tomas Ojea Quintana, who has faced accusations that he is biased in favour of the Rohingya, following deadly unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state.
Mr Wirathu, the 45-year-old monk who led the march, claimed that as many as 5,000 monks had joined the procession, with another several thousand people taking to the streets to watch.