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Junta is about to create anti-Musli

Subject: Junta is about to create anti-Muslim riots in Burma

     MLOB statement  on Junta's tricks to create anti-Muslim riots in Burma

We,  the Central Executive Committee of the Muslim Liberation Organization
of Burma (MLOB), would like to appeal to peace and justice-loving people of
the world , World Muslim leaders,  Buddhist monks  and Buddhist brethren
of Burma, to kindly prevent the ruling military junta, SLORC/SPDC,  from
again inhumanely creating  anti-Muslim riots in Burma in the near future.

The ruling military junta's agents have been distributing, in Rangoon and
other parts of Burma, two anti-Muslim booklets alleging that  the Muslims
are trying to subvert all other religions. The  booklets further refer to
what has happened in Iraq and Indonesia  in claiming that  the Muslims in
Burma are about to turn Burma into an Islamic state. ( Please see also Far
Eastern Economic Review, May, 13, 1999,  page  8).

The allegation in the booklets by the ruling junta is both totally inhumane
and impossible as the Muslims in Burma are  very much a minority, who are
continuously persecuted, brutalised  and even restricted from moving freely
in many areas of Burma. The Muslims have been living in Burma peacefully
for several hundred  years  side by side with their sister communities. The
junta's allegation is politically motivated  and it is a harbinger of the
military dictatorship's plan to make the Muslims as scapegoats  for the
junta's failure  to resolve Burma's  mixed problems created by the junta

The innocent Muslims have been made  scapegoats many times before,  by the
military rulers. In February-April, 1997,  the junta created anti-Muslim
riots in central Burma which later  spread  even to Rangoon, resulting in
43 mosques alone, many religious institutions and public properties being
destroyed or set ablaze.  The inhuman brutality was consciously planned and
executed  by the junta  to divert the attention of the Buddhist monks who
had started to demonstrate against the junta,  as the junta's officials had
stolen precious stones and gold from Mahamyatmunee Buddha statue in Mandalay.

Similarly, in 1991, SLORC created anti-Muslim riots in Arakan forcing
300,000 Rohingyas to flee into Bangladesh , in order to detract the
people's attention from dissatisfaction over the refusal  by the junta to
hand over power to the NLD following the elections in 1990.

Now  Burma is again at a critical juncture with soaring inflation,
collapsing economy and health services, and an uneducated generation of
young people with no hope for the future.  To better understand the junta,
it is helpful to know that the junta took over power in 1988 by massacring 
several thousand innocent civilians,  marching in peaceful demonstrations
for democracy and human rights. The 1999 session of the UN  commission on
human rights is an appropriate background against which to consider the
brutalities of the military junta.

As reported by the Special Rapporteur, the military junta continues to
violate all human rights, engaging in  extra-judicial and arbitrary
executions, enforced disappearances, rape, arbitrary seizures of land and
property,  forced labour, arrests, torture, detention without trial,
inhuman treatment of prisoners leading to illness and death in custody,
forced relocations, directed against the ethnic and minorities resulting in
flows of refugees to neighbouring countries, restrictions on movement faced
by Muslims in Arakan, the continued harassment , arrest and detention of
opposition NLD members led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and students,
all  when most of the Burmese people are  starving.
The people of Burma are (or)  have become totally dissatisfied with the
military junta. The situation of Burma is very  explosive  and it is
assumed that  mass-uprisings all over Burma against the military junta will
take place before the end of the year, 1999.  The military junta is well
aware of the situation and they want to make the innocent minority Muslims
again  scapegoats   for their failures to solve Burma's political,
economic, social,  ethnic problems and the people's  dissatisfactions.

The junta's systematic distribution of anti-Muslim booklets is nothing
other than a dirty trick to create hatred between Muslims and non-Muslim
communities and instigate anti-Muslim riots as before,  in order to divert
the attentions of the people from forthcoming mass-uprisings against  the
junta in Burma.

We, therefore, would like  to sincerely urge all world communities, world
Muslim leaders, Burma's Buddhist monks and Buddhist brethren to kindly stop
the military junta from creating further brutalities against the innocent
Muslims in Burma.

The Central Executive Committee,
Muslim Liberation Organization of Burma.
Dated. May, 22,1999.