New Delhi (Mizzima) - The weblog of venerable Burmese Buddhist monk, Ashin Mettacara, has bagged the "Best Asia Blog" award for 2008.
Publisher of the Weblog Awards, which puts up an online poll on various categories of weblogs, Kevin Aylward, told Mizzima that Ashin Mettacara's weblog has gained maximum votes of 3,383. It stood first with 41 per cent of the total voters voting for it in an online poll conducted since November.
The weblog, ( www.ashinmettacara.org) is hosted by a Buddhist monk, studying in Sri Lanka and contains political writings on Burma.
Ashin Mattacara (27), went to Sri Lanka to study Buddhist religious scriptures and created his weblog in 2004, focussing on religious writings. But, the weblog took a decisive turn in September 2007, when Buddhist monks led mass demonstrations in Burma, with the site increasingly filled with political writings on Burma.
"I am proud that my weblog has been selected as the best in 2008, and I would like to attribute the award to both my Burmese and international friends, who have voted," Ashin Mettacara told Mizzima over the telephone.
In the wake of the public protests in September 2007, several Internet-savvy Burmese youth, both in Burma and around the world, created websites and blogs, and filled them with information on the protests and the subsequent crackdown by the military junta.
Ashin Mettaraca's blog was among the outstanding blogs, that provided much needed information on the protests to the Burmese people as well as to the international community.
"I wanted to tell the whole world about the situation in Burma. That is the main reason for creating this blog," Ashin Mettacara had told Mizzima earlier.
Like Ashin Mettacara, several young Burmese bloggers, played an important role in publishing information on the September 2007 protests as well as the humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the deadly Cyclone Nargis in early May 2008.
It is due to this reason, Burma's military rulers have hunted down bloggers and others involved in the dissemination of information and sentenced them to long prison terms.
Aylward, who hosts the world's largest blog competition, with a total Weblog Awards for 48 categories, said the reason for organizing the competition was to create awareness among the public and draw attention to the blogs that were committed to write about such issues.
Ashin Mettacara has completed his B.A and M.A degrees in Sri Lanka's Buddhist and Pali University.
Reporting by Solomon, writing by Mungpi