‘Buddhist bin Laden’ feted by Myanmar junta chief

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A firebrand monk dubbed the “Buddhist bin Laden” for his role in stirring up religious hatred in Myanmar received a national award on Wednesday, with the junta saluting his work in the country.

Wirathu, who received the moniker from Time magazine in 2013 following deadly communal riots, was awarded the title of “Thiri Pyanchi” on Tuesday, the military’s information team said.

The award for “outstanding work for the good of the union of Myanmar” was presented by junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, it added.

Wirathu is one of hundreds of people receiving awards and honorary titles as the junta prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of Myanmar’s independ-ence from Britain on Wednesday (today).

Wirathu has long been known for his nationalist anti-Islamic rhetoric, particularly against Rohingya Muslims. In 2013, he appeared on the cover of Time as “The Face of Buddhist Terror”.—AFP