» 10/26/2012, 00.00
Rakhine: More than 100 dead in clashes between ethnic Burmese and Rohingya
Fighting between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims restarted on Sunday. So far, in addition to the dead, 72 people have been injured and some 2,000 homes set on fire. Myanmar president rails against manipulators who are behind the violence, pledges action by the military and the authorities to restore stability. Bangladesh tightens controls to stop refugees from reaching its coasts.
(AsiaNews/Agencies) - Interethnic clashes between majority Buddhists and
minority Rohingya Muslims have caused the death of more than 100 people in
Rakhine, a state in western Myanmar on the border with Bangladesh, this
according to official government sources. The authorities are now concerned
that the strife could harm the country's reputation, undermining the peace
process and democratisation. In view of this, President Thein Sein warned that
the military and police would act to restore peace by force if necessary.
spokesman Win Myaing said 112 people died in clashes that began Sunday between Buddhist
Rakhinese and the Muslim Rohingya, with 72 people reportedly injured, including
10 children. Earlier, the authorities had announced that almost 2,000 homes had
been burnt down during the violence. As a result, they imposed a dusk-to-dawn
Parts of the
state have been under a state of emergency since 10 June. Matters could still get
worse. Until yesterday, the official number of victims was low according to the
media because of delays by local officials in making public the real figures.
In a strongly
worded statement, Myanmar President's Office warned that manipulators responsible
for the recent sectarian clashes in Rakhine state would be exposed. Because of
Muslims have cancelled celebrations for the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha).
The situation is
undermining Myanmar's international image, the president said. For this reason,
"The army, police, and authorities in cooperation with local people will try to
restore peace and stability and will take legal action against any individual
or organisation that is trying to instigate the unrest".
Back in June,
the District Court in Kyaukphyu (Rakhine) imposed the death sentence on three
Muslims for the rape and murder in late May of Thida Htwe, a young Buddhist Rakhinese
woman. The decision sparked sectarian
violence between Muslims and Buddhists. In the days following the
trial, an angry mob attacked Muslims unconnected with the incident, killing ten.
As hatred spiralled
out of control, 29 more people, 16 Muslims and 13 Buddhists, were killed.
According to official sources at least 2,600 homes were also set on fire,
whilst hundreds of Rohingya sought refuge abroad.
According to United
Nations estimates, Myanmar is home to 800,000 Rohingya. But the government does
not count them as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups and denies them
Bangladesh treats as illegal immigrants with no citizenship rights, to be
expelled whenever they try to land on its beaches.
For Archbishop of Yangon, marriage, conversion and the vote are inviolable human rights
Archbishop Bo stresses the importance of civil rights, the basis of a democratic society. Marriage must be free from coercion and open to people of different faiths. The right to convert and the right of the religious leaders, be they Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu, to vote are equally crucial. An interfaith meeting was recently held in Yangon on the topic of 'social harmony'.
Mosque shuttered, prayer ban on Rohingya during Ramadan in Myanmar
During the Muslim month of fasting, mosques were sealed off. Not even for the festivity of Eid ul-Fitr were they reopened. Burmese Muslims and activists complain that pressure is being put on Muslims to leave the country. Human Rights watch calls it "state-sponsored persecution".
25/11/2013 MYANMAR - INDIA - UNITED NATIO
For Burmese activist, the Rohingya issue hides anti-Myanmar power games
For Tint Swe, the country is united against the UN resolution, which calls on Myanmar authorities to grant citizenship to the Muslim minority. Today Islamic movements and nations defend the Rohingya, but were not as generous in the past. The people of Burma "feel threatened". Criticism jeopardises the process of democratisation and development.
Rakhine: a thousand homes torched as tensions between Burmese and Rohingya remain high
Officially, 600 homes were burnt; local sources report "1,039 houses in eight villages". Three people died: two Muslim women and a Burmese man. Fears persist that violence between the two groups could get worse. Thein Sein tries to appease the situation by promising jobs and education to restore "peace and harmony".
13/06/2012 MYANMAR - BANGLADESH
As Dhaka turns away a thousand Burmese Rohingya, Sittwe is patrolled by soldiers
Bangladesh prevented a thousand refugees on three boats from landing. In previous days, an additional 500 were sent back to Myanmar. Security forces patrol the streets of the capital of Rakhine State, scene of Buddhist-Muslim clashes. Apparent calm could turn violent again.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.