SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Wirathu has long been the face of the country’s hardline Buddhist movement, notorious for espousing hate against Islam and particularly the long-persecuted Rohingya minority.

A court issued an arrest warrant for the abbot late Tuesday under article 124(a) which targets anyone who “excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government”.

After the warrant was issued, Wirathu posted on his social media page a summons dated May 22 from the country’s highest Buddhist authority, the State Sangha Maha Nayaka.

This is a state-appointed body of high-ranking monks overseeing the clergy across Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

The letter ordered him to report to its Yangon headquarters Thursday for a reprimand over his “involvement with social affairs during a rally”.

Wirathu told local media by phone Wednesday he was in Yangon ahead of the meeting, but said the police had not yet come for him.