09/20/2013, 00.00
Send to a friend

Dalai Lama to Burmese monks : Enough anti- Rohingya violence

The Tibetan spiritual leader recalls the teachings of the Buddha and appeals to the Burmese monks : no more attacks and violence against "your Muslim brothers and sisters ." Aung San Suu Kyi calls for amendments to the Constitution to solve the ethnic problem . In the sixth anniversary of the Saffron Revolution monks call on authorities to apologize .

Yangon ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Dalai Lama has appealed to Burmese Buddhist Monks asking them to act according to the principles of the Buddha, avoiding violence or targeted attacks against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. "When resentment or anger towards your Muslim brothers and sisters emerge - said the Tibetan spiritual leader , during an annual peace conference held recently in Prague, Czech Republic - please , remember [ the principles ] of the Buddhist faith . " He added, "to be sure" that in following the teachings of the Enlightened One, the Burmese monks will "protect their Muslim brothers and sisters who are increasingly victims."

The Burmese Buddhist monks became involved in a campaign against the Muslims, with protests and, in some cases, direct attacks against the community or individual groups. In particular, the anti- Rohingya violence in the western state of Rakhine erupted in June 2012 caused at least 200 deaths - especially among the Muslim minority - and more than 140 thousand displaced people.

In recent days, the Burmese religious marked the sixth anniversary of the "Saffron Revolution" , which flared up between August and September of 2007 and was violently repressed by the junta , with more than 30 deaths and hundreds of monks arrested . For years, religious people rejected offers by the military and would not provide their functions and celebrations in protest against the brutal repression.  Leaders of the Burmese Buddhist movement confirm that the ban will not be lifted "as long as there will be no official apology" from the authorities. Among the aims of this sixth anniversary of the massacre, the promotion "of nationality and religion , peace and national reconciliation and a significant progress on the democratic path of Myanmar."

Meanwhile, the opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi , on her recent European tour, touched on the issue of violence against minorities in Myanmar. The "Lady " points the finger at the current Constitution - written by the military dictatorship and ratified in a farce referendum in 2008, an emergency text due to Cyclone Nargis - emphasizing that it must be "modified" to eradicate the roots of conflicts. " The ethnic problem - said the parliamentary leader of the National League for Democracy ( NLD) - will not be solved with this Constitution, which does not meet the aspirations of the ethnic nationalities ." She adds that minorities must be guaranteed " safety first ", because " they feel that they do not have equal access to justice".

In the last two years, violence between Buddhists and Muslims have raised tensions between the different ethnic groups and religious denominations that define Myanmar, especially in the western state of Rakhine where clashes have broken out between native Arakanese and Rohingya Muslims. The rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman sparked a spiral of terror, which caused hundreds of deaths and houses destroyed, and displaced at least 160,000 people, many of whom have sought refuge outside Myanmar, trying to escape attacks by the 969 Movement, a Buddhist extremist organisation. According to United Nations estimates, there are at least 800,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. For the Myanmar government they are illegal immigrants, which is why they are victims of abuse and persecution.



Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Burmese military junta arrests another leader connected to Aung San Suu Kyi
Monk Gambira, leader of the Saffron Revolution, free again
Police out in force in attempts to commemorate the Saffron Revolution
Panchen Lama turns 20. For 14 years, he has been a hostage of the Chinese government
Tibetan monks commit “suicide,” victims of pre-Olympic repression


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”