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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid