4 January 2023: The ultranationalist monk in Myanmar, who was once the “face of Buddhist terror” over his role in promoting religious hatred against Muslims, has received a prestigious national award as the country’s military rulers celebrate Independence Day.

The monk, Wirathu, was awarded the honorific “Thiri Pyanchi” title for his “outstanding work for the good of the Union of Myanmar.”

Wirathu has long been known for his ultra-nationalist and anti-Islam rhetoric – particularly against Rohingya Muslim minority.

In 2013, he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine under the title, The Face of Buddhist Terror.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the military’s coup in February 2021 saw the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her detention along with other key officials.

The military has also responded to pro-democracy protests and dissent with deadly force, imprisoning thousands and fighting a growing conflict with an anti-coup movement that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people displaced.

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Source:  Al Jazeera

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