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Thousands Flee Escalating Sectarian Conflict In Burma

longknife

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by War News Updates Editor @ War News Updates: Thousands Flee Escalating Sectarian Conflict In Burma

Fleeing Muslims Seek Food, Shelter After Myanmar Sectarian Chaos -- Reuters

(Reuters) - Boatloads of Muslims struggled to reach refugee camps and sought safety on islands and in coastal villages on Saturday as Myanmar tried to put out the fires of a week of sectarian unrest that has shaken its fragile democratic transition.

Dozens of rickety wooden vessels packed with the stateless Rohingya Muslims who fled clashes with Buddhists in western Rakhine state had reached land by Saturday after two days at sea, but nine boats were still unaccounted for, according to several Rohingya refugee sources reached by telephone.

Read more .... Fleeing Muslims seek food, shelter after Myanmar sectarian chaos | Reuters

More News On Myanmar's Sectarian Chaos [all w/links]

Burma's leader admits deadly attacks on Muslims -- The Guardian
Burma destruction widespread after ethnic clashes -- CBC
Burmese government accused of failing to stop anti-Muslim violence -- The Telegraph
Dozens Are Killed in Myanmar as Sectarian Violence Flares Again -- New York Times
Global Concerns Grow Over the Muslim-Buddhist Conflicts in Myanmar -- Wall Street Journal
Burma acknowledges mass burnings in Rakhine unrest -- BBC
Burma satellite images show destruction in Rakhine state -- BBC
Human rights groups decry Myanmar ethnic strife -- AP
Myanmar Muslims call off Eid celebrations – CNN

Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Africa – and now Asia. What's next?
 

waltky

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Suu Kyi not takin' sides in Rakhine disturbance...
:eusa_shifty:
Cannot back Myanmar's Rohingya:Suu Kyi
November 04, 2012 : Aung San Suu Kyi has declined to speak out on behalf of Rohingya Muslims and insisted she will not use "moral leadership" to back either side in deadly communal unrest in west Myanmar, reports said.
The Nobel laureate, who has caused disappointment among international supporters for her muted response to violence that has swept Rakhine state, said both Buddhist and Muslim communities were "displeased" that she had not taken their side.

More than 100,000 people have been displaced since June in two major outbreaks of violence in the state, where renewed clashes last month uprooted about 30,000 people. Dozens have been killed on both sides and thousands of homes torched. "I am urging tolerance but I do not think one should use one's moral leadership, if you want to call it that, to promote a particular cause without really looking at the sources of the problems," Suu Kyi told the BBC on Saturday.

Speaking in the capital Naypyidaw after talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who has said the EU is "deeply concerned" about the violence and its consequences for Myanmar's reforms, Suu Kyi said she could not speak out in favour of the stateless Rohingya. "I know that people want me to take one side or the other, so both sides are displeased because I will not take a stand with them," she said. The democracy champion, who is now a member of parliament after dramatic changes overseen by a quasi-civilian regime that took power last year, said the rule of law should be established as a first step before looking into other problems. "Because if people are killing one another and setting fire to one another's houses, how are we going to come to any kind of reasonable settlement?" she said.

Myanmar's 800,000 Rohingya are seen by the government and many in the country as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. They face severe discrimination that activists say has led to a deepening alienation. The Rohingya, who make up the vast majority of those displaced in the fighting, are described by the UN as among the world's most persecuted minorities.

Source
 

waltky

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Obama encouragin' Burma on to democracy...
:clap2:
US President Obama calls for further Burma reforms
18 November 2012 - Barack Obama: "This is an acknowledgement that there is a process under way, inside that country that... nobody foresaw"
US President Obama has urged Burma's rulers to continue political reforms, ahead of a historic visit. On Monday, Mr Obama will be the first serving American president to visit Burma, which has been praised in the West for reforms over the past year. Answering critics who have highlighted continued human rights abuses in Burma, Mr Obama said the country was moving in "a better direction". But he said "much greater progress" was needed in future.

"I don't think anybody is under any illusion that Burma's arrived, that they're where they need to be," Mr Obama told reporters at a press conference in Thailand. "On the other hand, if we waited to engage until they had achieved a perfect democracy, my suspicion is we'd be waiting an awful long time," he added. Mr Obama is on a tour of South East Asia, which began in the Thai capital Bangkok on Sunday - his first foreign trip after his re-election as president. There he met Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and King Bhumibol, the world's longest-serving monarch.

Unresolved conflicts

In Burma, he is due to hold talks with President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He will also give a speech at Rangoon University, one of the hotbeds of pro-democracy protests in 1988 that were violently suppressed by the regime. In the past year, the Burmese authorities have freed hundreds of political prisoners and held the country's first contested election. Over the past year the US and other Western nations have relaxed the sanctions they had imposed on Burma, which was ruled by a brutal military regime for five decades. However, around 300 political prisoners remain in detention, according to rights groups.

Ethnic conflicts also remain unresolved, including an increasingly bitter confrontation between Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhist Rakhine people in Rakhine state. US officials say they have been seeking assurances that Burma had distanced itself from North Korea, after accusations emerged in 2010 that the two states were sharing nuclear technology. After visiting Burma, Mr Obama will head to Cambodia to join a meeting of the regional bloc Asean. Analysts say the US is trying to counter the dominating influence of China in the region. But US officials have repeatedly insisted that they want to work with China.

BBC News - US President Obama calls for further Burma reforms

See also:

Myanmar announces new prisoner amnesty
Nov 18,`12 -- Myanmar's leader has ordered a new prisoner amnesty ahead of a historic visit to the country by President Barack Obama on Monday.
State television said Sunday that President Thein Sein had ordered 66 detainees released, but it was not clear whether any political prisoners would be among them. A Home Ministry official said that Thein Sein signed the amnesty order Friday, but the prisoners will be freed Monday. The official declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press. The presidential amnesty was the second announced this week. On Thursday, Thein Sein announced an amnesty for 452 prisoners, but the move did not include prisoners of conscience and prompted activists to step up calls for the government to release those believed to remain behind bars.

Myanmar's government has long insisted that all prisoners are criminals and does not acknowledge the existence of political detainees. However, the reformist new government, praised for its moves toward democracy, has released hundreds of people this year who were jailed under the former military junta. A separate press release, issued Sunday, said the government would initiate "initiate a process between the Ministry of Home Affairs and interested parties to devise a transparent mechanism to review remaining prisoner cases of concern by the end of December 2012."

The news came one day ahead of a visit Monday by Obama, who will become the first sitting American president to visit the once-pariah nation, also known as Burma. Obama is due to meet Thein Sein, as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before flying to Cambodia later Monday. Thein Sein's administration has made freedom for political prisoners one of the centerpieces of its reform agenda. Earlier prisoner releases helped convince Western nations, including the United States, to ease sanctions they had imposed against the previous military regime.

Under the now-defunct junta, rights groups said more than 2,000 activists and government critics were wrongfully imprisoned. Suu Kyi's party says at least 330 political prisoners remain incarcerated. Obama said Sunday in Thailand that his visit to Myanmar is an acknowledgement of the democratic transition under way but not an endorsement of the country's government. Obama's words were aimed at countering critics who say his trip to the country is premature.

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waltky

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Mebbe dey heard of the Mooslamic terrorism crusade...
:eusa_eh:
Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?
1 May 2013 - Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?
This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean - Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority. In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena - the Buddhist Brigade - hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families. While no Muslims have been killed in Sri Lanka, the Burmese situation is far more serious. Here the antagonism is spearheaded by the 969 group, led by a monk, Ashin Wirathu, who was jailed in 2003 for inciting religious hatred. Released in 2012, he has referred to himself bizarrely as "the Burmese Bin Laden".

March saw an outbreak of mob violence directed against Muslims in the town of Meiktila, in central Burma, which left at least 40 dead. Tellingly, the violence began in a gold shop. The movements in both countries exploit a sense of economic grievance - a religious minority is used as the scapegoat for the frustrated aspirations of the majority. On Tuesday, Buddhist mobs attacked mosques and burned more than 70 homes in Oakkan, north of Rangoon, after a Muslim girl on a bicycle collided with a monk. One person died and nine were injured. But aren't Buddhist monks meant to be the good guys of religion?

_67354744_154146214(1).jpg


Aggressive thoughts are inimical to all Buddhist teachings. Buddhism even comes equipped with a practical way to eliminate them. Through meditation the distinction between your feelings and those of others should begin to dissolve, while your compassion for all living things grows. Of course, there is a strong strain of pacifism in Christian teachings too: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," were the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. But however any religion starts out, sooner or later it enters into a Faustian pact with state power. Buddhist monks looked to kings, the ultimate wielders of violence, for the support, patronage and order that only they could provide. Kings looked to monks to provide the popular legitimacy that only such a high moral vision can confer.

The result can seem ironic. If you have a strong sense of the overriding moral superiority of your worldview, then the need to protect and advance it can seem the most important duty of all. Christian crusaders, Islamist militants, or the leaders of "freedom-loving nations", all justify what they see as necessary violence in the name of a higher good. Buddhist rulers and monks have been no exception. So, historically, Buddhism has been no more a religion of peace than Christianity. One of the most famous kings in Sri Lankan history is Dutugamanu, whose unification of the island in the 2nd Century BC is related in an important chronicle, the Mahavamsa. It says that he placed a Buddhist relic in his spear and took 500 monks with him along to war against a non-Buddhist king.

More BBC News - Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?
 

waltky

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Muslims not welcome in land of Buddha...
:cool:
Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists
June 20, 2013 — After a ritual prayer atoning for past sins, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk with a rock-star following in Myanmar, sat before an overflowing crowd of thousands of devotees and launched into a rant against what he called “the enemy” — the country’s Muslim minority.
“You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims. “I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers,” Ashin Wirathu told a reporter after his two-hour sermon. “I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist.” The world has grown accustomed to a gentle image of Buddhism defined by the self-effacing words of the Dalai Lama, the global popularity of Buddhist-inspired meditation and postcard-perfect scenes from Southeast Asia and beyond of crimson-robed, barefoot monks receiving alms from villagers at dawn.

But over the past year, images of rampaging Burmese Buddhists carrying swords and the vituperative sermons of monks like Ashin Wirathu have underlined the rise of extreme Buddhism in Myanmar — and revealed a darker side of the country’s greater freedoms after decades of military rule. Buddhist lynch mobs have killed more than 200 Muslims and forced more than 150,000 people, mostly Muslims, from their homes. Ashin Wirathu denies any role in the riots. But his critics say that at the very least his anti-Muslim preaching is helping to inspire the violence.

20130620BUDDHIST-slide-4IQJ-articleLarge-v2.jpg

Buddhist monasteries associated with the fundamentalist movement, which calls itself 969, have opened community centers and a Sunday school program for children nationwide.

What began last year on the fringes of Burmese society has grown into a nationwide movement whose agenda now includes boycotts of Muslim-made goods. Its message is spreading through regular sermons across the country that draw thousands of people and through widely distributed DVDs of those talks. Buddhist monasteries associated with the movement are also opening community centers and a Sunday school program for 60,000 Buddhist children nationwide.

The hate-filled speeches and violence have endangered MyanmarÂ’s path to democracy, raising questions about the governmentÂ’s ability to keep the countryÂ’s towns and cities safe and its willingness to crack down or prosecute Buddhists in a Buddhist-majority country. The killings have also reverberated in Muslim countries across the region, tarnishing what was almost universally seen abroad as a remarkable and rare peaceful transition from military rule to democracy. In May, the Indonesian authorities foiled what they said was a plot to bomb the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta in retaliation for the assaults on Muslims.

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waltky

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Hmm, imagine dat - Muslims on the victim end of terrorism, quite a turn of the tables...
:eusa_eh:
Buddhists in Myanmar torch Muslim homes and shops
25 Aug.`13 — Fresh sectarian violence struck northwestern Myanmar early Sunday when a 1,000-strong Buddhist mob burned down dozens of Islamic homes and shops following rumors that a young woman had been sexually assaulted by a Muslim man, police said. There were no reports of injuries.
A crowd surrounded the police station late Saturday and then went on an hours-long rampage after authorities refused to hand over the assault suspect, a police officer from the area told The Associated Press. About 35 houses and 12 shops — most belonging to Muslims — were destroyed before calm was restored, he said, asking not to be named because he did not have the authority to speak to reporters. The radical monk Wirathu, whose anti-Muslim rhetoric has placed him at the center of rising religious violence in the predominantly Buddhist nation, posted news of the riot in the outskirts of the town of Kantbalu on his Facebook page.

Myanmar has been grappling with sectarian violence since the country's military rulers handed over power to a nominally civilian government in 2011. The unrest — which has killed more than 250 people and left 140,000 others displaced — began last year in the western state of Rakhine, where Buddhists accuse the Rohingya Muslim community of illegally entering the country and encroaching on their land. The violence, on a smaller scale but still deadly, spread earlier this year to other parts of the country, fueling deep-seeded prejudices against the Islamic minority and threatening this country's fragile transition to democracy. Almost all of the victims have been Muslims, often attacked as security forces stood by.

Myint Naing, an opposition lawmaker who represents constituents in Kantbalu, was outraged by the latest violence. He said Muslims and Buddhists have lived side-by-side in the area for many years. "There is a mosque in almost every village in our township and we live a peaceful co-existence," he said as he headed to the scene, adding that at least one mosque was burned down in the violence. "I cannot understand why the authorities were unable to control the crowd when it originally started," he said. Details about the riot were still being collected Sunday afternoon. The local Daily Eleven newspaper, which had a reporter at the scene, said 1,000 people were involved in the violence.

Buddhists in Myanmar torch Muslim homes and shops
 

Ringel05

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The history of the Muslim-Buddhist conflict is a long one. During the eighth century Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims had lived side by side in Afghanistan in an atmosphere of relative tolerance and interaction. Many Buddhists even converted to Islam, which was more straightforward than the relatively esoteric Buddhist faith, with its doctrine of reincarnation, karma, and deities.
During the ninth century, however, Sunni Turks — new converts to Islam, whose zeal did not leave room for any faith, or interpretation of faith, that vied with their own – launched a sustained attack on the Buddhists and their monasteries, driving them out of Afghanistan, across the Punjab, and into northern India. By 1021, the Buddhists routed the Muslim armies in Kashmir before being attacked again and pushed further into the Himalayas and Tibet.

_____________________________________________________________________

Islam in Asia has tended to be relatively peaceful, mystical, and apolitical – with a strong Sufi presence. In recent years, however, Saudi-funded Wahabism and Islamism have made very significant inroads into the continent, threatening traditional Muslims and those of other faiths alike. Shia Muslim pilgrims are now frequently targeted in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Sunni terrorists, and Sufi shrines have been destroyed. In Pakistan, Hindus are subject to kidnapping, extortion, and, often, forced conversion and marriage. It is in this context that we need to understand anti-Buddhism in Asia.


Muslim-Buddhist Conflict in Asia: and how to understand it | People of Shambhala
 

editec

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Thanks, Waltky

See anything about this in the Lame Street Media?

Me neither!

BBC isn't mainsteam enough?

how about

Rueters? www.reuters.com/.../us-myanmar-violence-idUSBRE94R0P520130528*

HUFF POST? Myanmar Buddhist Muslim Clashes

The WORLD? www.theworld.org/2013/05/buddhist-muslim-clashes-myanmar/*

CNN ? Toll rises in Myanmar amid clashes between Buddhists, Muslims - CNN.com

the TELEGRAM? Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph - Telegraph › News › Picture Galleries › World news

I could go on..but yuou get the point.

This story IS covered by the MSM.
 

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