Author Topic: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon  (Read 1983 times)

Pema8

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Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« on: October 31, 2016, 02:16:23 PM »
Dutchman gets three months for ‘interfering with prayers’ near Mandalay hotel and fine for violating the culture

Thursday 6 October 2016 20.46 BST
A court in Myanmar has sentenced a Dutch citizen to three months in prison for interfering with a religious observance by unplugging an amplifier broadcasting a late-night Buddhist sermon near his hotel in Mandalay.

Klaas Haytema, who wept with his girlfriend before he left for jail in handcuffs, was arrested late September after a crowd gathered around his hotel in protest when the loudspeakers at a nearby religious hall were turned off. The man who was reciting the sermon pressed charges against Haytema.

Local media reported that the 30-year-old had apologised and said he that he had not known the loudspeakers were broadcasting religious content.

Haytema was fined 100,000 kyats (about £62) for violating visa regulations requiring him to respect the culture. He could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison for insulting religion in the predominantly Buddhist country, but the judge said he opted to find him guilty on the lesser charge, to “show mercy”.

It was unclear if Haytema would file an appeal.

Mandalay, a tourist attraction in central Myanmar, is the country’s cultural capital and former seat of Burmese kings. It is culturally and religiously conservative.

In early 2015 a Myanmar court sentenced a New Zealand bar manager, Phil Blackwood, to two years in prison after he posted an image of Buddha wearing headphones on the bar’s official Facebook page in late 2014. Blackwood was released in an amnesty earlier this year.

It is common for Buddhist groups to broadcast sermons by loudspeaker at very high volumes. One local government reportedly has proposed noise-control rules. Supporters quoted by local media said the proposal was meant to alleviate stress caused to the elderly and the ill.

Chit San, a community leader involved in Haytema’s case, said he called police when tempers flared after Haytema acted. “We could not negotiate peacefully because people were angry, so we called the police to control the situation,” Chit San said. “We actually didn’t want him to get arrested.”

picture:  Klaas Haytema is escorted away in handcuffs by Myanmar police in Mandalay after the verdict. Photograph: Kyaw Zay Win/AFP/Getty Images

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/tourist-in-myanmar-jailed-for-pulling-plug-on-buddhist-sermon


Joo Won

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Re: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 04:17:47 PM »
To respect others religion or culture is not just for courtesy but as a person who lives in multi cultural and belief global village, we should at least show the respect. However, when authority of a community or country allow the sermon broadcast in high volume, it would most probably disturb the peacefulness of older citizen or ill. Forcibly executing the regulations or laws may stop people from speak up or abstain to oppose; but it may cause satisfactions in long term. Some might even view the religion in negative way, even this was does by the authority and nothing to do with the teachings of the religion. Mutual respect should be the way.   

Matibhadra

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Re: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 03:57:14 PM »
Quote
However, when authority of a community or country allow the sermon broadcast in high volume, it would most probably disturb the peacefulness of older citizen or ill.

Agreed. Besides, listening to sermons should be a choice, not something imposed by loudspeakers in public places.

However, whoever has had the opportunity to visit Muslim countries knows perfectly that in such countries extremely loud (and often distorted) loudspeakers screaming Muslim prayers and sermons are omnipresent, and unceasingly active day and night without respite, whether people like it or not.

Besides, in countries such as Saudi Arabia, were Islam is mandatory for citizeship, the punishment for pulling the plug, rather than mere 3 month in prison, would be death by decapitation, but only after several thousand lashes, the standard punishment for “blasphemy”.

The funny thing though is that the British newspaper The Guardian finds much more space in their pages to criticize the ex-British colony Myanmar and its Buddhist community than to criticize UK's ally Saudi Arabia's daily grueseome decapitations, including of teenagers, because of minor so-called “blasphemies”.

One possible explanation among many others are the UK's billionaire weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and other Oil Gulf bloody dictatorships (kindly called “monarchies” by The Guardian and other Western propaganda outlets), while the ex-British colony Myanmar, now a sovereign country, buys its weapons from other sources such as China.

Therefore, all those duped by such cheap anti-Buddhist and anti-Myanmar propaganda might review their tendency to take at face value whatever Western press says when it comes to defame sovereign, often predominantly Buddhist countries, such as Myanmar, North Korea, China, Laos, Cambodja, and so forth.

And lest we forget, Myannmar is a main target of the terrorist-supporting financier George Soros, the one who supports Islamic State-linked terrorists in Buddhist countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar itself.

And lest we forget either, this same financier George Soros is the money behind Dorje Shugden-haters and defamers, often of Nyingmapa extraction, such as those employed by Tsadra Foundation, itself chaired by Eric Colombel, the husband of Soros' daughter.

And lest we forget again, this very same financier George Soros is a known sponsor of the evil puppet the dalie lame of Tibet, the same who never misses an opportunity to criticize Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and to praise Islamic State terrorists, thus showing his obedience to his boss Soros.

Bottom line, we can draw an interesting line from Western propaganda outlets such as The Guardian's systematic defamation of sovereign Buddhist countries such as Myanmar (and their unbearable loudspeakers) and Sri Lanka, to UK weapon industry and oil interests, to Bloody Oil Muslim dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia, to Islamic State terrorism, to the evil puppet the dalie lame of Tibet, and to Tsadra Foundation Shugden-haters -- all such lines converging on the globalist-terrorism-supporting financier George Soros, the Abrahamic evil dalie's only and revered Root Guru.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 11:16:00 AM »
Well, hopefully Haytema have learnt his lesson on respecting the culture and events of the places he is visiting. It is definitely not polite to turn off the loudspeaker especially if he did not even understand the contents of whatever that was being broadcasted. Since the noise level is not life threatening, as a tourist, he should have just observe the local culture and practice and not get agitated.

pgdharma

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Re: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 08:47:26 AM »
It is important to respect others religion and culture irrespective of whether we like it or not.In a foreign land when we are not familiar with the culture or the tradition, it is best to just go along with it and abide with the customs.  As the saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."  I guess Haytema regretted his actions of unplugging the amplifier and disrupted the late night sermon.

bambi

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Re: Tourist in Myanmar jailed for pulling plug on Buddhist sermon
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2016, 02:45:40 PM »
IMO, whatever it was broadcasting, whether knowingly or unknowingly, one does not unplug an amplifier for the 'fun' of it. Especially when we are tourists and not familiar with the culture. I am sorry, but I have heard a lot of these cases, of tourists not being respectful. We should really learn and understand the country's culture before we make plans to travel there.

Well, its already done and the judge is really kind to lessen the sentence. Unlike Phil Blackwood, Klaas Haytema is considered to be very 'lucky'. I hope that this will serve as a lesson for many.