On standardizing the romanization of Burmese Pali names

It absolutely irks me when I read English news articles written about Burmese monks, which repeatedly transcribe the monks’ names into an inconsistent mishmash of Pali and Burmese-influenced spellings.

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Palace intrigues: More than a Buddhist monastery dispute gone sour?

This post was updated on June 22, 2014 to reflect recent developments.

A few evenings ago, a headline on BBC Burmese caught my eyes: “Santisukha monks disrobed, to be prosecuted” (သန္တိသုခ သံဃာများကို လူဝတ်လဲစေပြီး တရားစွဲပြီ). To outsiders, the headline may not mean much. But for well over a decade now, the Mahasantisukha Buddhist Missionary Centre (မဟာသန္တိသုခကျောင်း), a major Buddhist monastery in Rangoon, has been the center of a very contentious ownership dispute, between the Burmese government and the Penang Sayadaw.

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