Throughout the history of Burma, there has been propaganda calling to protect ethnicity and religion, resulting in violent riots that have stemmed from fear and hatred based on ethnicity/religion. Each and every military regime had and have spread such propaganda. Due to hate speech and lack of effective intervention to avoid conflict, hatred amongst different communities has grown.
Buddhism and Burmese people are considered the greatest in Burma, and other religions and ethnicities have encountered and are still facing discrimination, hate speech, and violent suppression. Additionally, the Burmese army depicts itself as the defender of Buddhism, the Burmese, and the country. Also, factions portrayed as nationalists have long supported the Burmese army. There have been indications that the Burmese army and certain political parties provided support to these ‘nationalists,’ which soon developed into extremist nationalism. After 2010, these extremist nationalism movements gained momentum and popularity amongst the general public. Hate speech and propaganda spread to the general public resulting in violence. Pro-military lobbies, ultranationalists, and religious groups are still prominent and active in today’s political landscape.
This paper seeks to examine the actions and objectives of the ultranationalists. The origins of extremist nationalism and how ultranationalists and religious groups utilize propaganda to instigate hatred and cause violent conflicts and riots will be discussed. Moreover, the intentions of ultranationalists and religious groups since the 2021 military coup will be explored. This paper aims to understand extremist nationalism and religious groups, as well as the threats these factions pose in rebuilding a peaceful, harmonious community during Spring Revolution and the post-revolution period.