29 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/11/2012
MYANMAR
State of emergency to stop Buddhist-Muslim clashes
More than a week ago a Buddhist woman was raped. A number of Muslims were killed because they were suspected of being the perpetrators of the crime. Since then at least 500 homes have been torched and destroyed. Fear is growing that the violence might affect the country's struggling democracy. Rakhine state is the point of origin for oil and gas pipelines stretching to Yunnan.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in western Rakhine state to stop violence between Buddhists and Muslims. For the president, if tensions continue, the country's steps towards democracy could be jeopardised.

Violence broke out about a week ago when a Buddhist woman was raped and killed. An angry crowd blamed Muslims and attacked a bus carrying Muslim passengers, killing ten.

This weekend, at least 500 houses and other buildings have been razed as the unrest spread with mob and revenge attacks. One report said 5,000 people have been made homeless.

The Rakhine state capital Sittwe is under tight security. But in Yangon, Buddhists protested demanding justice for the violence (pictured). In the previous days, Muslims had protested.

Sittwe is an important trading hub and the point of origin for oil and gas pipelines being built by China National Petroleum Corp that stretch to Yunnan province.

At the same time, the area is home to minority Muslims, including Roihingya, who are viewed as "illegal" immigrants from Bangladesh. In a tragic twist of fate, in Bangladesh, the Roihingya are seen as illegal immigrants from Myanmar.

With its 135 or more ethnic groups, Myanmar has always had difficulties in having them live together. In the past, the country's military junta used an iron fist against the more rebellious of them.

Yesterday's state of emergency is the first exceptional measure taken by Thein Sein, who became president more than a year ago and has been trying to move the country from a military dictatorship to a limited democracy.

Muslims are 4 per cent in a population of 60 million. Rohingya number 750,000 according to UN figures, mostly in Rakhine state.

Another million or so are divided between Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/26/2012 MYANMAR
Rakhine: More than 100 dead in clashes between ethnic Burmese and Rohingya
11/25/2013 MYANMAR - INDIA - UNITED NATIO
For Burmese activist, the Rohingya issue hides anti-Myanmar power games
by Francis Khoo Thwe
10/24/2012 MYANMAR
Rakhine: a thousand homes torched as tensions between Burmese and Rohingya remain high
03/22/2013 MYANMAR
In Meikhtila, death toll from Buddhist-Muslim clashes rises to 20
01/22/2014 MYANMAR
For Archbishop of Yangon, marriage, conversion and the vote are inviolable human rights
by Francis Khoo Thwe

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.