It began with a rallying cry; monks under the ''969'' banner urged their followers to sabotage Muslim businesses by shopping only at Buddhist-owned stores. Now they are taking their nationalist campaign a step further, aiming to restrict inter-faith marriage under the guise of ''safeguarding race''.
The controversial ''emergency marriage act'' was proposed during a recent Buddhist convention in Yangon, attended by more than 1,500 monks and nuns at the end of June.
Signature campaigns followed in 198 townships across the country as the monks sought to drum up support for the proposed new law. Within three weeks, they had nearly three million signatures, according to Shin Sandar Thiri, a monk who belongs to the Association of Safeguarding Race, Faith and Religion, the group pushing for the new marriage restrictions.
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