A film by Fatima Lianes
With almost 90 percent of Myanmar’s population being devoted Buddhists, the religion has been at the heart of the nation’s very identity for centuries.
But while the pillars of Buddhist teachings are love, compassion and peace, there is a very different variation to the philosophy being taught at the Ma Ba Tha monastery in Yangon’s Insein township.
The monks there are connected to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, the systematic persecution and genocide of the Rohingya in Rakhine state.
“The Rohingya Muslim people … are discriminated against and treated like animals by the Buddhist people,” says a Rohingya who asked to disclose his identity.
Formed in 2012, ultra-nationalist monks organisation Ma Ba Tha – which translates to ‘the protection of race and religion’