31 October, 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


» 06/12/2012
MYANMAR
U.S. and EU demand an end to violence between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims
Tensions remain high in the western Rakhine State, after days of ethno-religious conflict. Activists criticize the government and call for free access for independent bodies. The United Nations move staff; Bangladesh strengthens border controls. At least 12 thousand displaced people.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The international community is calling for an end to violence in the Rakhine State - west Myanmar, along the border with Bangladesh - where in recent days at least seven people were killed in violent ethnic clashes - between Buddhists and Muslims. Washington is calling for the calm and peaceful resolution of this matter, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the situation "underlines the absolute need for mutual respect among all ethnic and religious groups." Attention is on President Thein Sein and the Burmese army - which has often in the past violently suppressed riots and tensions - to clarify the circumstances of events. The spokesman for European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton said she is that certain "security forces are facing these difficult interethnic violence in an appropriate manner."

Human rights activists and members of civil society are more critical of the Burmese government, which has allowed its troops to take control of the province. They demand that foreign journalists, diplomats and volunteers be given access to areas affected by fighting. Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) has confirmed that the violence "is getting out of hand, under the eyes of the government." Even the UN has decided to transfer - at least temporarily - much of the  "non-essential" staff from the area. And across the border, the Border Guards in Bangladesh have strengthened inspections and driven back several boats, carrying groups of refugees. The number, depending on the sources, varies from 50 to 300. According to a list provided yesterday by the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, about 12 thousand inhabitants are housed in emergency centers, located in four different towns of the State.

Meanwhile, throughout Myanmar anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya sentiments are spreading, a minority living in Burma's border with Bangladesh, often victims of abuse and persecution in the past of a religious nature. The Rohingya activists have repeatedly demanded, without success, inclusion in Myanmar and the recognition of their full rights. On the web, however, Burmese bloggers and citizens describe members of the minority as "invaders" or "terrorists".

The violence erupted in the Rakhine State about a week ago when a Buddhist woman was raped and murdered. An angry mob accused some Muslims, killing 10 of them, who were traveling on a bus. The capital of Rakhine State, Sittwe, is controlled by security forces. The area is a very important hub for trade, because it is the origination point of an oil pipeline and gas pipeline built by China that brings power up to Yunnan.

Myanmar is composed of more than 135 ethnic groups, and historically has always found it difficult to promote coexistence. The military junta often uses harsh repression against the most recalcitrant. Myanmar Muslims constitute about 4% of a population of 60 million people. The UN says there are 750 thousand Rohingyas in the country, concentrated mainly in Rakhine State. Another million or more are scattered in other countries: Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia. The state of emergency declared yesterday is the first to be declared under Thein Sein, President for over a year, who is attempting to lead the country from military dictatorship to at least minimal democracy.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/06/2013 MYANMAR
As Muslim-Buddhist violence breaks out in Kachin state, Yangon archbishop calls for "peace and love"
by Francis Khoo Thwe
03/05/2010 MYANMAR
In the race for an Oscar: Burma VJ, reporting on the revolt of the monks
05/03/2013 INDONESIA - MYANMAR
Islamists preparing attack on Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi
12/16/2011 MYANMAR
Struggle for Democracy, Burmese monk risks expulsion from the order
10/31/2007 MYANMAR
Burma’s monks return to the streets. The junta recruits child soldiers

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.