Friday, September 22, 2017

All Ma Ba Tha signage banned

As it has already been decided that Ma Ba Tha is an unofficially formed organisation, all Ma Ba Tha signboards across the country will have to be completely taken down failing which, the Ministry of Home Affairs will take immediate action.

This was decided at a meeting of the 7th 47-member State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee yesterday.

It also said that the Ma Ba Tha does not conform to section 4, Chapter 2 of Sangha Organization Law and section 3(a)(b), and Chapter 2 of Sangha Organization procedures, it is an illegal organization and has been decided to ban it.

In a statement issued, it said that as the Ma Ba Tha is an unofficial organization, the signboards have to be removed.

The decision includes restricting Ma Ba Tha members from using the name Ma Ba Tha individually or in groups for any purposes.

All signboards will have to be removed by July 15.

Failing this, monks will be punished according to Sangha Organization Law 20/90 and laypersons will be punished under other existing laws.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is to take necessary actions to enforce the decision, the statement added.

Commenting on the statement, a leading founder of the Ma Ba Tha and Ma Ba Tha (central) chair Sayadaw Baddanta Lawkar Biwuntha and vice-chair Sayadaw Thilat Khanda Biwuntha, signed and pledged in the presence of eight Ma Ha Na Sayadaws that they will conform to the resolutions set at the meeting of Seventh 47-member State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee.

They also said that they will also inform other members of the Ma Ba Tha.

In the light of the decision, an announcement has been made to cancel the fourth annual conference of the Ma Ba Tha, which was planned for the last week of May, Department of Religious Affairs, Director (Vinaya Disciplinary Affairs) U Tun Nyunt told The Myanmar Times.

– Translation by Zaw Nyunt