Dr. Maung Zarni
March 24, 2013
What is 9-6-9 or 969?
Listen to a typical anti-Islam hate speech by 969 leader Wirathu here
It is the most dangerous, but fast-growing neo-Nazi "Buddhist" movement in Burma founded post-Rohingya slaughter last year. It is led, most prominently by a Saffron-robed pseudo-monk Mr Wirathu. In its national network are Buddhist Sar-thin-tike or teaching Buddhist colleges. In broad day light Buddhist lecturers and teachers from this network, for instance, in Moulmein were seen giving hate-speeches disguised as "Buddhist sermons", with absolutely no interruptions from local authorities.
969 is Myanmar's home-grown neo-Nazi group founded and led by extremist Buddhist monks with the avowed aim of defending Buddhist faith, Myanmar race and Buddhist nation from Burmese Muslims.
9 stands for the nine special attributes of Lord Buddha, 6 for the six special attributes of Buddha's teachings and the last 9 for the nine special attributes of the Buddhist Sangha or Order.
969 appears to work in close collaboration with Burma's security forces, the new Burmese media and the People's Relations and Psychological Warfare Division of the Ko Ministry of Defense.
A categorically anti-Muslim/anti-Islam message tinged with the language of nationalist and national security is consistently and commonly coming from these sources:
1) Myanmar's new media such as the late medical Dr Nay Win Maung's The Voice, another medical Dr Than Tun Aung's Eleven News Group;
2) official media outlets and offices such as the Ministry of Defense-run Myawaddy News and President Office's spokesperson Hmu Zaw or ex-Major Zaw Htay; and
3) 969 of Buddhist skin-heads the likes of Wirathu and his fellow skinhead monks
President Thein Sein's reformist government at best tolerates its categorically anti-Islam hate speeches and activities and at worst backs, if tacitly, the group and its incitement of violence against the country's Muslims.
Any democratic country in the world where hate speech is not protected by' the freedom of speech' would certainly arrest the leaders of 969 for their fear-mongering, hate speeches against a particular religious community.
One of the best known leaders of this group is Mr Wirathu, a Saffron-robed fake Buddhist monk and preacher, who was jailed in 2003 for his direct involvement in the massacre of Muslim families and destruction of a mosque in the up-country town of Kyauk-hse, the birthplace of the aging and retired despot Senior General Than Shwe.
969 calls for boycott of Muslim businesses, social ostracism of all Muslims and purging of Burmese Muslims from all positions of wealth, influence and power in Burma. It also stokes the historical anti-Muslim and anti-Indian popular sentiment among the predominantly Buddhist population of the country.
One should not be surprised if 969 turns out to be a strategic proxy organization founded by the radical, hard-line elements within the military leadership that plans to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition figures in Burma through the 969's messages of anti-civilian politicians and activists.
969 openly frames Aung San Suu Kyi as a stooge of rich and cunning Muslim enemies who are hell-bent on taking over Buddhist Myanmar nation and destroying Buddhism.
969 leaders position themselves as the ones who are most nationalistically mindful and who are best positioned to defend 'Buddhist faith, Bama or Myanmar race and Buddhist nation' against the sole enemy of Muslims'.
Through its incitement of religious discrimination, Buddhist apartheid, violence against Muslims and acts of grassroots hate-mobilization against the country's Muslims, 969 is most definitely involved in violent crimes against the Muslims in Burma. It is a group whose activities need to be closely monitored by the international community.
Before the next wave of skin-head violence by organized "Buddhist" mobs against the Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities washes hits the country of otherwise peaceful and acquiescent Burmese of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, the anti-hate speech campaigners and concerned citizens, governments and international NGOs must get pro-active in nipping this home-grown "Buddhist" neo-Nazi movement in the military-ruled Myanmar.