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    » 04/05/2013, 00.00


    Sumatra: eight dead and 15 wounded in clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims

    Violence, which took place in a refugee center, triggered by the discovery of incidents in recent weeks in Meikhtila. The victims were eight Burmese fishermen, the injured belong to the Rohingya minority. Jakarta raises alarm over unabated exodus of Muslims from Myanmar.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least eight people are dead and 15 wounded following clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims in a refugee center for migrants near the port of Belawan, near the city of Medan, in the Indonesian province of Sumatra. The violence erupted after news reached the camp of the terrible events that took place last March in Meikhtila in the center of Myanmar, which have left dozens of casualties on the ground, as well as houses, shops and mosques devastated. The Buddhist-Muslim clashes in the center of the former Burma was also addressed by the Archbishop of Yangon Msgr. Charles Bo, who, at the Easter Vigil, launched an appeal for peace, now taken up by Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu youth movements.

    According to reports from the Indonesian police, the clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims refugees in the center of Sumatra began at two o'clock this morning. Initial reports state that the dead are all Buddhists, while the 15 injured belong to the Rohingya Muslim minority, often the victim of persecution and abuses in Myanmar. Three other Buddhists escaped the onslaught.

    From the initial reconstruction it seems that the 11 Burmese Buddhists were fishermen, were caught on the high seas and then stopped by the Indonesian Navy and held in the center. The Muslims instead are part of a group of at least 100 Rohingya refugees, who have fled Myanmar in search of political asylum from the authorities in Jakarta.

    Endro Kiswanto, chief of police in the area, explains that the chaos began when the Burmese found out about the violence in Meikhtila, which caused a total of 43 dead and thousands homeless. Tensions rose until the two sides came to blows, with the authorities and security officials of the center unable to restore calm. Meanwhile, the Indonesian government leaders confirm that growing number of people belonging to the Muslim minority, who have left Myanmar to seek refuge overseas.


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    See also

    15/06/2012 MYANMAR - SWITZERLAND
    As an apparent calm follows sectarian violence in Sittwe, Aung San Suu Kyi ponders the Rohingya issue
    Rakhine State Border and Security Affairs Minister says the situation is "under control". Fears of renewed Buddhist-Muslim clashes persist. In Switzerland, opposition leader calls for the rule of law and greater border controls, but avoids talking about citizenship for Muslim minority. But for NLD spokesman, "The Rohingya are not our citizens."

    05/08/2013 INDONESIA - MYANMAR
    Jakarta: three injured in twin attack on Buddhist temple
    So far no official claim for attack. It could be a response to the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country. Condemnation by the Minister for Religious Affairs: "The attack does not respect Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims."

    24/01/2009 INDONESIA
    Indonesia denies asylum to Rohingya survivors
    The odyssey of hundreds of people who fled from Myanmar and landed in Thailand, where the army loaded them onto boats without motors and towed them onto the open sea to die. 193 survivors have arrived in Indonesia, which does not want them because they do not have the status of political refugees.

    15/04/2014 MYANMAR
    Kachin, Burmese Army raids rebel stronghold: thousands of refugees and humanitarian crisis
    A group of local NGOs , including Christian and Catholic organizations, warn of a crisis in the State in northern Myanmar. In the last few days - in conjunction with the census - the fighting has intensified, at least 3 thousand people take flight. Part of the displaced have found refuge across the border in China. Appeals for a ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks.

    17/04/2015 MYANMAR
    Myanmar military clash with Kokang rebels, 16 soldiers killed and over a hundred wounded
    The fighting took place in north-eastern Myanmar, along the border with China. The military told displaced people to return home. But people are afraid of retaliation and more violence. So far, it is unclear how many people have died or are wounded. Aid workers have been denied access to the area where fighting is taking place.

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