News / Asia

Burma Violence Edges Closer to Rangoon

Muslims pour water to a  damaged mosque following fresh anti-Muslim violence broke out in Okkan, 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of Rangoon, Burma, May 1, 2013.
Muslims pour water to a damaged mosque following fresh anti-Muslim violence broke out in Okkan, 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of Rangoon, Burma, May 1, 2013.
VOA News
Burmese officials say one person was killed and another 10 injured during the latest anti-Muslim riots that continue to edge closer to the country's largest city, Rangoon.

Police said Wednesday that a person died of his injuries following clashes a day earlier in the small town of Okkan, which lies less than 100 kilometers north of Rangoon.

Residents say a group of at least 300 Buddhists armed with makeshift weapons swept through the area late Tuesday, destroying Muslim-owned properties.

U Aung Min, a religious teacher at a mosque in the area, said he recognized some of the attackers.

"Who did this? There are some people from the group that are from some villages nearby or villages from far away," he said. "We are familiar with their faces."

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Officials say at least 157 homes were destroyed, while at least two mosques were seriously damaged. Although many said police were not initially present to stop the violence, a heavy security presence was later reported in Okkan.

Similar violence killed 43 people in late March in the central Burmese town of Meikhtila. The anti-Muslim violence later spread south, but the riots so far appear to have stayed clear of Rangoon.

Last month, a fire at a Muslim school in Rangoon killed 13 students. Officials said an electrical problem was responsible for the blaze, but many Muslims in the community suspect arson is to blame.

The violence is the worst since late last year, when over 200 people were killed in western Rakhine state during clashes between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya, an ethnic group that rights groups say is widely discriminated against in Burma.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch said authorities were involved in "ethnic cleansing" against the Rohingya, most of whom are denied citizenship and many other basic rights. The New York-based group has accused the military of failing to stop, and sometimes partaking in, the violence. That claim is disputed by the government.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims remain displaced, with many living in squalid refugee camps. Though rights groups have warned the situation threatens to turn into a semi-permanent state of segregation, a government report this week said keeping the communities apart is the best solution to stop the violence.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid