Japanese Buddhist sponsor boycotts Burma junta

DVB, November 7, 2004

Yangon, Myanmar -- The main sponsor of the fourth World Buddhist Summit to be held in Burma in December, has boycotted Burma?s military junta by declaring on 6 November that it won?t be funding the conference.

The Nenbutsushu Buddhist sect of Japan was supposed to fund the conference and it was to be attended by thousands of famous monks from Japan. The junta, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), said it is despaired by the action of the organisation without having strong evidence, but it insisted on continuing with the conference.

A Buddhist abbot from Pegu, Burma speaking on condition of anonymity told DVB that the majority of the monks are not interested in the conference because it is not ?useful? for them. Reverend Uttara who is residing in London, UK urged the monks to keep on demanding for the release of all Buddhist monks who had been detained unfairly by the junta.

The boycott came as a big blow to the SPDC, as it has been trying hard to use the conference to improve its tarnished image as one of the worst violators of human rights and freedom of religion.