Patriotic Association of Myanmar
အမျိုးသား ဘာသာ သာသနာ စောင့်ရှောက်ရေးအဖွဲ့|
|Abbreviation||PAM (Ma Ba Tha)|
|Formation||15 January 2014|
|Headquarters||Insein Township, Yangon Region, Myanmar|
|Ywama Sayadaw Ashin Tilokabhivamsa|
The Patriotic Association of Myanmar (Burmese: အမျိုးသား ဘာသာ သာသနာ စောင့်ရှောက်ရေး အဖွဲ့), abbreviated Ma Ba Tha (မဘသ) in Burmese and variously translated into English as Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, Organisation for the Protection of Race and Religion and Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion is a Buddhist organisation based in Myanmar (Burma). Some PAB members are connected to the nationalist and 969 Movement, although others have actively championed inferfaith dialogue and tolerance.
On 15 January 2014, PAB was formally established at a large based conference of Buddhist monks in Mandalay, with the mission of defending Theravada Buddhism in Burma. Its Pali name is Sāsana Vaṃsa Pāla (သာသနဝံသပါလ), which literally means "protector of race and Śāsana."
PAB may have been formed in response to the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee's prohibition of the '969' emblem for political uses.
PAB is led by a central committee composed of 52 members, including both senior scholar monks and nationalist monks. Ashin Wirathu is a prominent member of PAB. PAB has extensive networks and chapters at state and township levels across Burma. PAB is currently chaired by the Ywama Sayadaw Ashin Tilokabhivamsa. Its headquarters are located Ywama Pariyatti Monastery (ရွာမပရိယတ္တိ စာသင်တိုက်), Insein Township, Yangon Region.
In 2013, the Burmese Ministry of Religious Affairs drafted 4 controversial laws designed to regulate religious conversion and interfaith marriage, and enforce monogamy and population-control measures, based on draft texts proposed by PAB members. In March 2015, the country's lower house, the Pyithu Hluttaw, approved two of the bills. The first of the 4 laws, which regulates population-control measures, was enacted in May 2015.
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