Myanmar: Buddhist ‘Mad’ Monk Saydaw Wirathu Denies 969 Campaign Caused Meikhtila Riots


Buddhist Monk Saydaw Wirathu, the self-styled “Burmese bin Laden”, has rejected claims that his 969 nationalist campaign was behind violence in central Myanmar’s city of Meikhtila against Muslims.

In an interview with Irrawaddy website, Wirathu blamed “kalar” – a scornful term for Muslims – for the Meikhtila sectarian riots that left at least 20 people dead. “They were carrying knives, sticks and other weapons and attacked the Burmese,” he said. “When the crowd heard that one monk was killed during the unrest, they went to the kalar quarter without weapons. Only one Burmese person out of ten carried a stick from the ruined houses, and no other weapons. […]So, the planned attacks came from the Muslim quarters.”


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