News / Asia

    Buddhist Protesters Greet UN Rights Expert in Western Burma

     A Buddhist monk shows a message written in his palm to protest against the ethnic minority Rohingyas in Burma during a visit of Burma's President Thein Sein in Bangkok, Thailand, July 24, 2012.
    A Buddhist monk shows a message written in his palm to protest against the ethnic minority Rohingyas in Burma during a visit of Burma's President Thein Sein in Bangkok, Thailand, July 24, 2012.
    A U.N. human rights expert has traveled to several Burmese towns in the country's west where deadly riots erupted between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims last month.

    A local monk said about 100 Buddhists staged a peaceful protest in the town of Maungdaw as Tomas Ojea Quintana visited Burma's Rakhine state, near the border with Bangladesh.

    U Arsi Ra said the protesters held signs urging the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR not to discriminate between Buddhists and Muslims when providing aid to tens of thousands people who fled their homes due to the riots.

    "Arriving by air, Quintana met with local officials at a Maungdaw administrative office. Then, he went to see temporary refugee shelters including a high school and a monastery. Quintana leaves for Buthidaung [another border town with Bangladesh] later today. [In Maungdaw,] he is facing a protest by Buddhists who accuse the United Nations of favoring Muslims," said the monk, U Arsi Ra.

    Some Rakhine Buddhists perceive the UNHCR as having a pro-Muslim bias because the U.N. agency recruited most of its Rakhine personnel from Muslim communities.

    Burmese authorities have detained several UNHCR staff on suspicion of instigating the Buddhist-Muslim riots that killed more than 70 people.

    In Tuesday's protest, Buddhist activists in Maungdaw also called for justice for all victims of the violence.

    Foreign rights activists have accused Burmese security forces of committing abuses against Rohingyas and other minority Muslims in response to the riots. Burma has rejected the accusation and insisted that its forces exercised "maximum restraint."

    Burma's government refuses to recognize the country's estimated 800,000 Rohingyas as an ethnic group and many Burmese consider them to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

    VOA Burmese Service's Moe Zaw contributed to this report.

    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John from: Myanmar
    August 02, 2012 9:43 AM
    Dear Myanmar People and Government,
    I am a Rohingya living in Arakan state in Myanmar. First of all, I would like to say “Thanks” for your people for let us live on your soil same town and living quarters as local Rakhine people while our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh living in refugee camps.

    Before I go from here we are really disappoint for killing10 of our innocent Muslim. But again I must apologized for arson and crimes committed by some of our people during the conflict and same our Muslim brothers post fabricated pictures of monks buried Rohingya corpse from China earth quick and Rohingya arrested in Thailand by Thai army. As a Myanmar citizen, I will strongly recommend to punish who commit crimes both Rakhine and Rohingya and I know this is normal procedure all the governments around world will do otherwise there will be anarchy in our state and our people will run again to Bangladesh.

    I fully aware that previous government persecuted all minorities group in Myanmar including us but since this new government took over they are making peace with all minorities groups in Myanmar.

    In Response

    by: mandyswe from: US
    August 19, 2012 6:45 PM
    Yeah, I was born last night and believe that you (John) are a real Rohingya. I am so grateful that after you stole my ancestral land, you let me live in squalors with no access to education for my children and no way for me to make a living because you took away my ID card and I cannot travel. Ithank Burmese government very much for the evil deeds that John the evil is committing including his propaganda.

    by: HoustonOpinion from: Houston, Texas
    August 01, 2012 11:22 AM
    So much for Buddhism being a peaceful religion. I have seen pictures of thousands of dead bodies along with armed Burmese Security forces. It was genocide. And people of Burma should be held accountable. May I remind the Government and people of Burma, there are consequences of Genocide. Just ask the Serbs. You can run but you cannot hide.
    In Response

    by: Lynn from: UK
    August 02, 2012 7:34 AM
    I have seen so many pictures of innocent people dead bodies all over the world regardless of their religion. Yes that sadden me too. Do you see the point? show me what you seen hopefully I can describe their religion by looking at their dead bodies!

    Any rioters or convicts must face justice regardless of their religion.


    by: Nik from: US
    July 31, 2012 2:29 PM
    Burma must allow international journalists, observers and aid agencies clear and unobstructed access to the victims of the riots. It is obvious that Burma's government, military and Buddhist majority are all biased and ruthless against the Rohingya minority to such an extent that they have stripped the Rohingyas of the citizenship of their own country and use it severely persecute their population. They can not trusted in doing justice to the Rohingya people. UN teams have to deployed in Burma to not systematic ethnic cleaning.
    In Response

    by: almoros from: Cameroon
    August 01, 2012 10:44 AM
    God bless Burma with great love, unity and peace! Nations and religions have ever been the flying birds crossing continents without passwords and traveling papers, it has been the colonization that created those uncivilised and unhumanbeings cultures! Please, Burma nation don't worship those colonized borders and ever be watching your rainbow colours which from white, brown and mixed, Burma is a heterogenous nation with bright history and no nation without crises and I'm sure will bravely bypass it soon!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    August 01, 2012 12:44 AM
    Don't be too narrowed minded. Tell that first to Isareli people taking over Palestine territory, Russia in Chechen region, China and Tibet, and Australia and aboriginal, and many more. Myanmar isn't the only country with that kind of problem. Those people are claiming our historical land as theirs just because they lived there for a couple of generations?
    For examples; there are millions of illegals in US. Some of them for generations. Just because they live there, would you give them citizenship and curve out part of your country to them?
    Go and ask a Rohingya in Bangladesh if they considered themselves to be a Rohingya? They will just say that they are just a muslim from Burma. Rohingyas are political term created during British rule as history as proven and those are just Bangli people in Burma. They should even thank Myanmar for giving them shelter and the past government had created villages for them so that they got a space to live.
    In Response

    by: Win Naung from: Myanmar
    July 31, 2012 11:49 PM
    Have you went and looked around the details of what's happening there? I agreed that the management of Burmese government who is managing on that conflict is very weak.
    I would like to ask you if there are 800,000 Muslim peoples are trying to get a separate country like Pakistan and India, how will you solve?
    We have foreseen the condition of our country like India. Shell we give them our region as Rohinya country? If you were a Burmese, will you give them? So why is Russia
    fighting with Chechen peoples?
    We Burmese would not agree and never accept on ethinic cleaning. But we haven't set that Rohingya as our ethnic in Burma. How can you say ethinic cleaning if they were not our ethnic?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.