Bhante Ashin Wirathu,
I am writing to you on behalf of UN-aligned, an international organisation that focusses on the need to replace the United Nations with a more effective and principled organisation, although we also work to promote human and animal rights, as well as the welfare of the planet.
Institutionalised religion has had a sad history in a number of countries around the world owing to its bigotry and abuse of power. Many spiritual people, including some of our members, have therefore looked to Buddhism as a beacon of justice and openness. This image has been tainted over the last few years by portrayals of monks leading a crusade against the Rohingya inhabitants of Myanmar. The contradiction here reminds many people of the darkest periods of some of the leading world religions.
We would therefore be grateful if you could answer these two simple questions for our members:
- How can you reconcile the teaching of the Buddha concerning love and tolerance, with the hostility some monks are fuelling against this defenceless minority, many of whom are dying as they flee persecution?
- Can your monastery do anything now to restore the spirit of fraternity that should reign amongst all the residents of Myanmar?
Should you deign to reply, your answer will, assuming it does not contravene any laws, be published on our website (un-aligned.org) and in The Gordian, our monthly magazine.
We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time;
Adrian LibertoFounder and Coordinator