Nationalism and religious conservatism a toxic mix in Myanmar

Nationalism and religious conservatism a toxic mix in Myanmar
PHOTO: Reuters

In years gone by, decisions in Myanmar's courts were largely dictated to the judge by the military, with instructions given in sealed envelopes or by telephone. In early June, however, a court in central Myanmar caved to a different kind of pressure.

From the start of Htin Lin Oo's trial to his sentencing on June 2, Buddhist monks and nationalist activists demonstrated outside the Chaung-U Township Court in Sagaing Region, in Myanmar's central west region, demanding a tough punishment. The writer and political activist was finally sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour.

"The court is afraid of the monks," said Thein Than Oo, the lawyer representing Htin Lin Oo. "They put on maximum pressure in this case."

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