An infamous Myanmar monk has been banned from giving sermons for a year by the country’s top Buddhist body because of his Islamophobic tirades.
Wirathu, whose hate speech has galvanized religious tensions in Myanmar, had called for restrictions on Myanmar’s Muslim population. He had warned of an Islamic takeover of the overwhelmingly Buddhist country.
Myanmar has seen deep religious tensions in recent years. Most of the tensions have been attributed to anti-Muslim rhetoric spread by Wirathu's wing of Buddhist monks.
The government is under strong international pressure because of the bloody anti-Muslim violence that has targeted the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state.
In February, Ko Ni, a respected and high-profile Muslim lawyer and long-time Suu Kyi ally, was assassinated by extremists. His murder heightened tensions.
Following Ko Ni’s assassination, Wirathu was banned from speaking at an event.
On Friday, a special meeting of the country's most senior monks - the State Sangha Maha Nayaka decided to ban all of his speeches.
“As he has repeatedly delivered hate speech against religions to cause communal strife and hinder efforts to uphold the rule of law” the monk “was banned from delivering sermons across Myanmar for one year from March 10, 2017 to March 9, 2018,” the council said on Saturday.