Sunday, July 29, 2012

Clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities in western Myanmar



On going clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities in western Myanmar  killed at least 78 people and displaced thousands last month,with an estimated 80,000 people displaced in and around the towns of Sittwe and Maungdaw, with most of them living in camps or with host families in surrounding villages.
the United Nations (UN) said Friday.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed serious concern about reports of human rights violations committed by security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the clashes have taken places, stating that reports include “discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes.”
Violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the state, was triggered after an ethnic Rakhine woman was raped and murdered on May 28, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This incident was then followed by the killing of 10 Muslims by an unidentified mob on June 3.The violence has affected over 30,000 people, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has continued aiding with additional tents.
 Pillay added that reports - from independent sources -indicate that “the initial swift response of the authorities to the communal violence may have turned into a crackdown targeting Muslims, in particular members of the Rohingya [Muslim] community.”
Pillay also called on national leaders to speak out against discrimination, the exclusion of minorities and racist attitudes, and in support of equal rights for all in Myanmar, as “prejudice and violence against members of ethnic and religious minorities run the risk of dividing the country.”


In an interview with the Sunday Express, Bangladeshi prime minister Hasina said that her government had passed on concerns about a number of unidentified “incidents” to the authorities in Myanmar where there have been clashes between Buddhists and Muslims.Clashes  has seen dozens killed, is taking place in the western Myanmarese state of Rakhine. Thousands of Rohingyas, described by the UN as a persecuted Islamic minority group in Myanmar, have tried to flee to Bangaldesh.

Hasina’s Awami League government has been turning them away at the border, angering campaign groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.She, however, told the Sunday Express that the international community should investigate why so many were fleeing.“As for refugees, we have a large number trying to get into our country, which is already over-populated. How many can we take it? We don’t want any refugees coming to Bangladesh.
“The international community should try and find out why these refugees want to come,” she said.
Asked if she was concerned that Jamaat-e-Islami could be encouraging some refugees, she said: “We have some intelligence reports about it.“We are trying to find out the reality.”
The Bangladeshi prime minister, who attended late Friday night’s Olympic opening ceremony, also praised Britain and Scotland Yard for helping in the fight against terrorism.Hasina met British Foreign Secretary William Hague earlier Saturday to discuss the situation.Media agencies

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