chapter  12
Buddhism and the Religious Divide among the Karen
Pages 9

Religion remains an important medium in the formulation of political strategies and identities in Burma.1 On 25 December 1996 a bomb exploded near the Kaba Aye Pagoda and the Maha Pasana Cave built for the Buddhist Synod in 1956 north of the Inya Lake in Rangoon. General Tin Oo, Secretary-2 of the SLORC had just visited the site. The explosion killed five people and injured seventeen, including policemen and members of the USDA.2 The Maha Pasana housed a tooth relic of the Buddha which was transferred from China on loan to Burma to promote good relations between the two countries. The relic was to be taken to Mandalay for ninety days before being returned to China on 5 March 1997.