News / Asia

Burma Announces Charges, Mass Arrests in Sectarian Violence

Family members sit with injured Rakhine men as they receive medical treatment at Thandwe hospital , Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
Family members sit with injured Rakhine men as they receive medical treatment at Thandwe hospital , Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
Burmese authorities say they have charged 93 people in connection with last month's sectarian violence in the western town of Thandwe that left at least seven people dead and dozens of homes burned down.
 
Government officials in Rangoon says special investigation teams have made dozens of arrests, while 71 people remain at large.

Officials say charges range from assault to arson and supporting violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
 
The October violence in Thandwe came as Burmese President Thein Sein toured nearby areas in troubled Rakhine state. His government announced a special investigation shortly after the violence took place.
 
A relative of Muslim politician Kyaw Zan Hla, who was detained during the violence last month, accuses authorities of favoring Buddhists and unfairly treating Muslims.
 
"The [authorities] arrested [Buddhist] suspects who were involved in arson, violent attacks, etc..., but they were later granted bail and released," he said. "They said they do not have enough eyewitness evidence. On the contrary, the arrested Muslims have never been granted bail and are still under detention."
 
However, Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut said the president himself ordered a thorough investigation of the incident.
 
"As we have said before, as far as violence is concerned, we are going take action against whoever committed such a crime regardless of either side," he said. "This is why we have released the situation reports from time to time. Those incidents happened during President Thein Sein’s visit to Rakhine State and the president ordered a thorough investigation and action against people from both communities who were involved in instigating or committing crimes and taking advantage of unfortunate circumstances."
 
It is not clear how many of those facing charges are Buddhist or Muslim.
 
Buddhist-Muslim violence erupted in Burma's western Rakhine state last year and has since spread to other parts of the country. The sectarian fighting has killed at least 240 people and displaced 140,000 others, mainly Rohingya.
 
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid