News / Asia

US: Burma Must Do More to Stop Anti-Muslim Violence

Distorted corrugate panels are scattered among debris of a burnt building in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
Distorted corrugate panels are scattered among debris of a burnt building in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
VOA News
The United States is condemning a fresh round of deadly attacks against minority Muslims in western Burma and urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.

The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon's statement on Wednesday followed several days of violence that has killed at least five Muslims, including a 94-year-old woman, in Rakhine State.

Residents said several Buddhist mobs armed with sticks and knives went on a rampage in the town of Thandwe earlier this week, burning down homes and attacking Muslim-owned establishments.

President Thein Sein toured strife-torn areas of Rakhine and met with local leaders for a second day Wednesday. It was his first trip to the troubled state since a wave of anti-Muslim violence broke out in June 2012, killing dozens and displacing tens of thousands.

  • Muslims cry after losing their homes in recent violence in Thapyuchai village, outside of Thandwe, Rakhine state, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
  • Blackened pillars stand among debris of a burnt building in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
  • A journalist walks amongst the remains of houses at Shwe Lay village, outside of Thandwe in Rakhine state, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
  • A soldier stands guard near Muslim homes at Shwe Lay village, outside of Thandwe in the Rakhine state, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
  • Vehicles drive on a road as Buddhist flags are displayed outside a religious building in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 2, 2013.
  • Two injured Rakhine men sit in a car as they prepare to go to hospital in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Police set barricades as they provide security in Thandwe, Rakhine State, western Burma, Oct. 1, 2013.

In remarks carried in state media Wednesday, the president said "such instability based on religion and race harms and delays" Burma's recent democratic reforms and "tarnishes the national image."

Rights groups have accused Burmese police and military personnel of not doing enough to stop the violence. In some cases, witnesses have reported that authorities have joined in the attacks.

The U.S. Embassy statement strongly urged the Burmese government to "respond quickly and decisively" in protecting residents and holding accountable those responsible for the violence.

It also said Burma must "do more to ensure progress in security, rule of law, justice, humanitarian access, and reconciliation in Rakhine State.

Sectarian clashes have killed at least 240 people since they erupted in Rakhine in June 2012 and later spread to other parts of Burma. Most of the killings have happened in Rakhine, home to several Muslim minorities, including stateless Rohingyas.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid