Nationalist called for ouster of religious minister  
Occurred in Taunggyi, Shan, Myanmar on April 8, 2017, at 2:05 PM
Reported by naymg via Internet on April 9, 2017, at 11:00 AM in Taunggyi, Shan, Myanmar

This rumour is confirmed true and is of medium priority – here's why:
A so-called nationalist group in Shan State has asked the government to sack the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs Thura U Aung Ko. The group which call itself the National Security Social Network accused the ministry of taking side against an extremist monk U Wirathu in a legal case involving a journalist Ko Swe Win.
The network which is based in the Shan State capital Taunggyi said in a statement issued on 8 April that it has asked the President to sack the minister as he tried to interfere in a legal case. Ko Swe Win is facing two lawsuits filed by the followers of U Wirathu, for causing, defame to the religion through his Facebook post critical to the monk.
The ministry said in a letter to Ko Swe Win that his post, which said the monk, would go to hell for his support to the suspects in killing of a prominent Muslim lawyer U Ko Ni.
Similar call for removal of Thura U Aung Ko was made by a member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Dr Kyaw Swe, who is a member of the party’s central executive committee member based in Taungtwin Gyi in Magwe Region, wrote in a Facebook post that he wrote a letter to the President on 6 April calling for sacking of the minister for his alleged interference in judicial matter.
The USDP and eight other parties has issued a statement criticising the ministry’s action in the deformation case. The statement issued on 8 April said the ministry’s siding with Ko Swe Win would encourage those who want to defame the religion. The announcement warned that the ministry would be responsible for any conflict arises due to its stance. Together with the USDP, other pro-nationalists parties the Nationalist Progressive Party and the Peace and Diversity Party have also signed the statement.
The headquarters of a leading pro-Buddhist group the Association for Protection of the Race and Religion, which is more popularly known with its Myanmar acronym Ma Ba Tha, which is led by U Wirathu also criticised the ministry in a statement issued on 10 April. It said the ministry was bias against the extremist monk by saying he breached the teaching of Buddha.
The ministry said praising the alleged killers by U Wirathu was morally unfit even for an ordinary follower of a religion not to mention a monk.
The Ma Ba Tha statement echoed what has being said in the statement by 9 political parties saying that the ministry was supporting those who are trying to defame the religion and it will be responsible for any unwarranted consequences.

Reference: Ma Ba Tha Central Headquarters Online, Democracy Today

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Location Reported by Via Date
Taunggyi, Shan, Myanmar naymg Internet 9-Apr-2017 @ 11:00 AM

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