Three Buddhist monks have been rewarded by the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Oslo last week, according to the Irrawaddy.
They are U Withudda, an abbot at Meiktila’s Yadanar Oo Monastery, U Seindita, founder of the Asia Light Foundation in Pyin Oo Lwin, and U Zawtikka, of Rangoon’s Oo Yin Priyati Monastery.
According to Irrawaddy, on March 20, 2013, around 40 Muslims arrived at Yadanar Oo Monastery asking U Witudda to protect them from the mob. By midnight, the monastery was filled with 800 others, including 300 children.
At around 2am, one of these mobs gathered outside and asked U Withudda to send out those hiding within the monastery. Withudda however said that the mob could only take the Muslims over his dead body.
He continued his defiant stance for the next four days before the situation had calmed down.
The award was presented in Norway during “The Oslo Conference to End Myanmar’s Persecution of the Rohingya.” During the conference, seven noble laureates and esteemed political leaders such as Dr Mahathir Mohammed slammed Burma for genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.
At a time when society is reeling from hatred of Muslims and many Buddhist monks lead the charge, Muslims have expressed widespread admiration for the courageous role of these monks.