Muslim-Buddhist violence rages in Myanmar’s north-west for fifth day

June 12, 2012

(Rakhine Buddhist monks pray for peace at the Sule pagoda in central Yangon June 12, 2012. REUTERS/Minzayar)

Homes burned, gunshots rang out and witnesses reported many dead as sectarian violence raged for a fifth day between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in northwest Myanmar on Tuesday, threatening the country’s nascent democracy.

Security forces struggled to stem the worst communal violence since Myanmar’s reformist government replaced an oppressive junta last year and vowed to forge unity in one of Asia’s most ethnically diverse countries. Hundreds of Rohingyas have been turned away by authorities in neighbouring Bangladesh after attempting to flee the fighting in boats, say officials and witnesses.

The fighting in Sittwe, capital of Myanmar’s Rakhine State, has prompting President Thein Sein to declare a state of emergency, impose dawn-to-dusk curfews and warn that “vengeance and anarchy” could jeopardise the country’s fledgling transition to democracy after nearly 50 years of army rule.

“Almost all of the shops have closed. We only have a little bit to eat because the market is also closed,” said a worker at a hotel in the centre of Sittwe.

Witnesses reported black smoke over Sittwe, a port town riven by tensions between Buddhists and Muslims. Some Buddhists have been seen carrying bamboo stakes, machetes and sling-shots. Muslims and Buddhists were seen setting houses on fire.

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Rohingya start conflicts in Myanmar. They kill Rakhine(Myammar) people, children and monks. They burn Myanmar houses, temples and monasteries. They rape Myanmar women. They give problems to Myanmar people. This is in past and in present and also will be in future. Most evil crimes were committed by Rohingya in Rakhine State. Moreover they never be in our Myanmar race. And then, Rohingyas want Myanmar citizen rights without following local laws. UN and foreign media are covering at their back side for human rights. Human rights is not for Terrors.

Posted by SYM | Report as abusive

You can’t say that and be so bias.Killings from both sides existed throughout the history. Rohingya were always mainly attacked first and were always defending themselves.

Iz is anout who starts it first and ppl always have the right to defend themselves. You are just stating your side of the story. But do you know their side. There is always two sides to every story, but only one truth.

Here is a bit of history for u..When Japanese occupied the land, Rakhine helped them to kill Rohingya.They started first,so they defended themselves ever since.

Although Muslim settlements have existed in Arakan since the arrival of Arabs there in the 8th century AD, there is no clear connection between these early Arabs and the Rohingya, especially since the Rohingya are in many ways more Bengali. The direct descendants of Arab settlers live in central Arakan near Mrauk-U and Kyauktaw townships, not in the Mayu Frontier Area, the present day Rohingya populated area.[7]

The British census of 1891 reported 58,255 Muslims in Arakan. By 1911, the Muslim population had increased to 178,647.[8] The waves of immigration were primary due to the requirement of cheap labor from British India to work in the paddy fields.

In 1939, The British authorities, who were wary of the long term animosity between the Rakhine Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims, formed a special Investigation Commission led by James Ester and U Tin Htut to study the issue of Muslim immigration into the Rakhine state. The commission recommended securing the border, however, with the onset of World War II, the British retreated from Arakan.[9]

World War 2 Japanese Occupation

Main article: Rohingya massacre
On 28 March 1942, some thousands of Muslims (about 5,000) in Minbya and Mrohaung Townships were killed by Rakhine nationalists and Karenni. On the other side, the Muslims from Northern Rakhine State massacred around 20,000 Arakanese including the Deputy Commissioner U Kyaw Khaing who was killed while trying to settle the dispute.[9]

During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Burma, then under British colonial rule. The British forces retreated and in the power vacuum left behind, considerable violence erupted. This included communal violence between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya villagers. The period also witnessed violence between groups loyal to the British and Burmese nationalists. The Rohingya supported the Allies during the war and oppose the Japanese forces, assisting the Allies in reconnaissance.

The Japanese committed atrocities against thousands of Rohingya. They engaged in an orgy of rape, murder and torture.[10] In this period, some 22,000 Rohingya are believed to have crossed the border into Bengal, then part of British India, to escape the violence.[11][12]

40,000 Rohingya eventually fled to Chittagong after repeated massacres by the Burmese and Japanese forces.[13]

Burmese Junta

The current Junta ruling Burma relies heavily on Burmese nationalism and Theravada Buddhism to bolster its rule, it heavily discriminates against minorities like the Rohingya, Chinese people like the Kokang people, and Panthay (Chinese Muslims). [14]

Successive Burmese governments have provoked riots against ethnic minorities like the Rohingya and Chinese. [15]

2012 Rohingya riots

Main article: 2012 Rohingya riots
2012 Rohingya riots are a series of ongoing riots, arson and murders perpetrated by groups of Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Although the riots came after weeks of sectarian disputes between ethnic Rakhine and Burmese Muslims, most Burmese Muslims have condemned the riots.[16]

The immediate cause of the riots is unclear. The commonly cited reason is the killing of ten Burmese Muslims by ethnic Rakhine in response to rape and murder of a Rakhine woman. As of June 09, over three hundred houses and a number of public buildings have been razed with casualty figures ranging from 7[17] to 30.[18] The government has responded by imposing curfews and by deploying troops in the regions. On June 10, state of emergency was declared in Rakhine, allowing military to take over administrative control of the region.[19]

Posted by Guests100 | Report as abusive

That is so true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Muslim people are killers the World. They killed every other religious, we can all see what they did and what they doing.

Posted by lovepeople | Report as abusive