Matthew J Walton, Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi and Aye Thein

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A monk takes a selfie at MaBaTha’s third anniversary conference in Yangon, 2016, Photograph: Ann Wang

What is MaBaTha? The group, best known by its Burmese language acronym, but also called the Organisation for the Protection of Race and Religion, has become virtually synonymous with Buddhist nationalism and anti-Muslim discrimination and violence in Myanmar, especially since 2012. U Wirathu, MaBaTha’s most prominent member, is infamous for his extremist, racist and sexist remarks, and recently received a one year teaching ban from Myanmar’s Buddhist authorities. His continued antics, along with the shocking and tragic assassination in January of prominent Muslim lawyer and activist U Ko Ni, have kept public attention on MaBaTha.

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