Myanmar bans Time cover story on Buddhist monk

Featured South East Asia - June 27th, 2013
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Myanmar has banned a controversial Time magazine cover story on a Buddhist monk the government fears could lead to further religious violence in the country.

The government on Tuesday banned the selling, reproduction and distribution of Time’s July 1 issue, which carries a front page photograph of Wirathu, a prominent radical Buddhist monk accused of fueling anti-Muslim violence, with the headline “The Face of Buddhist Terror”, according to AFP.

Wirathu is known for preaching against the Muslim minority in Myanmar and has called for restrictions on marriages between Buddhists and Muslims. Nevertheless, Wirathu insisted he’s a man of peace.

Government spokesman Ye Htut said the decision was made “in order to prevent the recurrence of racial and religious conflicts.”

A special committee investigating on the recent deadly religious violence said the Time article could damage government efforts to build trust among people of different religions, reports The Associated Press.

The article has drawn anger from Buddhists who denounced the story, saying it damages the image of Buddhism.

A spate of communal violence in Myanmar has left nearly 250 dead and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.