An ultranationalist monk in Myanmar, who was once dubbed the “face of Buddhist terror” over his role in promoting religious hatred against Muslims,

has received a prestigious national award as the country’s military rulers celebrate independence from Britain.

The monk, Wirathu, was awarded the honorific “Thiri Pyanchi” title for his “outstanding work for the good of the Union of Myanmar”, the military’s information team said on Tuesday

Presented with the award by the country’s military ruler General Min Aung Hlaing, Wirathu was among hundreds of people receiving honorary titles

and other forms of recognition as the country on Wednesday marked 75 years of independence from Britain.

Wirathu has long been known for his ultra-nationalist and anti-Islam rhetoric – particularly against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

In 2013, he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine under the title, The Face of Buddhist Terror. He has called for boycotts of Muslim-owned businesses