Myanmar Buddhist committee bans anti-Muslim groups
YANGON (REUTERS) - A government-appointed body that oversees Myanmar's Buddhist monkhood has issued a directive intended to check the influence of a monk-led movement accused of stoking violence against minority Muslims.
At least 237 people have died in sectarian violence since June last year and more than 150,000 have been displaced. The vast majority of the victims were Muslim.
The bloodshed, mirrored by increasing attacks on Muslims in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, has threatened to undermine political and economic reforms the government initiated two years ago after half a century of military rule.
In an order dated Sept 2, the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee of monks responsible for regulating the Buddhist clergy prohibited the creation of formal organisations based around the 969 movement.