News / Asia

    Myanmar Buddhists Threaten to Kill Muslims

    Tin Tin Kyaw (2nd R) cries near the body of her husband Soe Min, a 51-year-old man who was killed in a recent riot, at a mosque in Mandalay July 3, 2014.
    Tin Tin Kyaw (2nd R) cries near the body of her husband Soe Min, a 51-year-old man who was killed in a recent riot, at a mosque in Mandalay July 3, 2014.
    Reuters

    Myanmar police cordoned off Mandalay's Muslim neighborhood as hundreds of Buddhists wielding knives, swords and bamboo poles roamed the city on Friday, following communal riots that killed two people earlier in the week.

    Inter-religious violence has flared throughout the country over the past two years, threatening to undermine political reforms initiated by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein, which took office in 2011 following 49 years of repressive military rule.

    At least 240 people have been killed and more than 140,000 displaced since June 2012. Most of the victims have been members of Myanmar's Muslim minority, estimated to be about 5 percent of the population.

    Around 300 Buddhists rode motorcycles around Myanmar's second largest city of Mandalay on Friday, shouting death threats.

    "We're going to kill all the Muslims," some shouted as they rode through the streets after attending the funeral of a Buddhist man stabbed to death on Wednesday night.

    A Muslim man was also killed, beaten to death early on Thursday on his way to morning prayers.

    Police erected barriers lined with barbed wire to block roads into a predominantly Muslim neighborhood and prevented the Buddhists on motorcycles from entering. Officers in riot gear patrolled the streets, and one spoke through a megaphone, telling people to go inside.

    While police guarded the neighborhood, they did not disarm the Buddhists who had been riding around the city since midday, screaming threats and singing the national anthem. A man was seen distributing bamboo poles from a car parked near the royal palace, a popular tourist attraction in the city of about a million people.

    Many Muslims fled the neighborhood after violence broke out Tuesday, going to hotels or nearby towns.

    Police said 19 people were hurt in riots on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. A 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew backed up by a heavy police presence prevented further trouble on Thursday night and the same curfew will be in force on Friday.

    The violence began late on Tuesday when a group of about 300 Buddhists converged on a tea shop owned by a Muslim man accused of raping a Buddhist woman.

    A police officer in the capital, Naypyitaw, told Reuters on Thursday that charges of rape had been filed against the tea shop owner and his brother.

    An imam at Mandalay's largest mosque told Reuters that five Muslims had been arrested on Friday after police searched homes nearby and found ceremonial knives. "Police definitely know these are used for ceremonial purposes," said Ossaman, the imam. "They were not breaking any law."

    A police officer confirmed the arrests but refused to provide further details and asked that his name be withheld as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Anti-Muslim violence is not new in Myanmar. The former junta imposed a curfew in Mandalay after riots in the city in 1997 following reports that a Muslim man had raped a Buddhist girl.

    But outbreaks of violence have become more common under the reformist government, which lifted restrictions on freedom of speech, including access to the Internet, which had previously been tightly controlled by the military.

     

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    July 04, 2014 11:59 PM
    It's quiet clear that Military and security officers are not willing to disarm Buddhist gangs wielding dangerous weapons and vowing to kill Muslims for made-up stories.
    Muslim minorities around the world were subjected to harassment, arbitrarily arrest, killings, rape and conveniently accused of terrorism. Conscious world has to stop this!

    by: Ian from: USA
    July 04, 2014 8:39 PM
    These individuals should be ashamed to call themselves Buddhist .
    The Buddha made it very clear in his teaching to his followers to cultivate a passion for truth searching, for compassion and self-control , not harming other beings (even insects )

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    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 Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    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 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 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.