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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid