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Religious violence and discrimination

  • Anti-Muslim violence and discrimination - General articles and analysis

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Arakan (Rakhine) State - reports etc.
    Description/subject: Link to the Arakan State section of OBL
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Google search results for "inter communal conflict Myanmar"
    Description/subject: About 33,500,000 results (4 April 2013)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Google
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


    Title: Google search results for "myanmar Inter-communal violence"
    Description/subject: About 670,000 results (4 April 2013)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Google
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Individual Documents

    Title: Text of the Memorandum of Understanding between Bodu Bala Sena of Sri Lanka and 969 of Burma
    Date of publication: 01 October 2014
    Description/subject: "The Buddhist Society of the world has awoken to the ground realities of subtle incursions taking place under the guise of secular, multicultural and other liberal notions that are directly impacting on the Buddhist ethos and space. These incursions are being funded from overseas and have made its impact globally and are subtly spreading into the local situations. Both the Bodu Bala Sena (of Sri Lanka) and 969 movement (of Burma) in realizing the impeding dangers have felt that it must now come forward to derive practical and meaningful ways to address these burning issues which cannot be left for politicians to deal with. We feel that in the light of the same incursions taking place in the Buddhist countries that remain it is now opportune a time for the Buddhists of the world to get together and derive a national and international plan to address these issues without delay...".....In the meantime, the old BBS website has gone offline and the new one, http://bodubalasena.net/ seems not to contain the text of the MOU - in English, anyway
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Bodu Bala Sena website
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Alternate URLs: http://www.bodubalasena.co/memorandum-of-understanding.html
    http://bodubalasena.net/
    Date of entry/update: 02 October 2014


    Title: Rumour, religion and riots in Mandalay
    Date of publication: 03 July 2014
    Description/subject: "On Wednesday morning reports began to surface of serious unrest and mob behavior overnight in Mandalay. One blog report in particular demonstrates the dangerous nature of conjecture and rumour, and their role in the violence. The post reports that “two notorious Muslim brothers widely known as the Mandalay-Mafia kidnapping and violently raping a Burmese-Buddhist girl who works for them”. The brothers are further indicted as “wealthy Bengali-Muslim brothers who own a string of teashops and restaurants in Mandalay City as a cover for their illicit drug trafficking operations”. The website reports enough geographic details, quantifies crowd numbers and dates to give the report a veneer of authority. Reporting that the rape of the young girl occurred on 30 June 2014 on the road to Naypyitaw, where the young girl was “pushed out” on the roadside and found by police officers at the traffic lights near Myinyadanar Ward in Pyinmana. Police then started searching for the “two Muslim brother rapists who were now hiding in their home-base Mandalay City”. On their return to Mandalay, “more than a thousand Buddhist crowd led by monks gathered at their flagship teashop Sun-Café at the intersection of 82nd Street and 28th Street and demanded justice”. Monks demanding justice, this gives the crowd the moral high ground, but both monks and morally charged language like “justice” have been constantly deployed in Myanmar’s recent communal violence to devastating effect. The chronology of the article is confused. First it is reported that the Buddhist crowd gathered and were met by “a large group of Mandalay Muslims worrying about the severe impact on their businesses and their lives were already gathering at the Sun-Café to demand the Muslim-Mafia brothers behave or they themselves would kill their fellow Muslims”. Implying the Muslims are now turning against themselves and cannot even control one another. Later in the article it is claimed that the groups outside Sun-Café were actually a group of 500 “Bengali-Muslims” who were quarreling amongst themselves, with one side allegedly there to “protect their Muslim brothers” and the other side to “drive the bad Muslim-Mafia out of town”. The facts are not important to this article, nor to many others. What is important is the cautionary tale: that Muslims are raping Buddhist women, and Muslims are threatening Buddhists’ livelihoods and safety. And to draw some final ethnically charged symbolism into the event: “Two Buddhist were reportedly killed by Muslim sword while a few policemen were also badly injured”. Again, the onus is placed on the Muslim instigators: they are killing Buddhists and injuring the peace-keeping police. As yet, it is unclear if even the basic details are true. Aside from that reported by blogs that are known to be inflammatory and U Wirathu himself, there seems to no authority giving credence to the story of the girl in the police station. Where is the police statement? The tea shop owners’ family claim they never even had a maid. At best this creates conflicting narratives that reinforce pre-existing biases. And if the basic details are true, the framing of the incident within days by the blog and U Wirathu clearly highlights a series of pre-existing grievances and stereotypes about Muslims frequently deployed in the ongoing religious tensions. The symbol of the maid and the white luxury sedan are two — they appear as banal facts but when put in the context of Muslim, and particularly the idea of a “mafia” and links to drug trafficking, they speak directly to concerns about wealth inequality. Muslims are rich and can afford such luxuries, it suggests, but they are also nefarious and amoral — always searching for a fight. This blog post and other Burmese commentary are tragic demonstrations of some endemic problems in Myanmar’s information culture. The role of rumour and conjecture in the Mandalay conflict cannot be overlooked, and those promulgating such rumours are responsible for a significant amount of Myanmar’s current unrest."
    Author/creator: Anonymous
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 24 July 2014


    Title: Rohingya: denied the right to be human
    Date of publication: 15 June 2014
    Description/subject: "I struggle to comprehend the lack of international response to the sheer hell for Rohingya people whether in squalid Bangladesh camps or in Burma. President Thein Sein and other Burmese Government members, welcomed around the world, continue a well-orchestrated, well-documented plan to destroy every aspect of Rohingya men, women and children’s lives. Individuals are treated as not entitled to be recognised as fellow human beings. The old Nazi phrase “life unworthy of life” comes to mind. On 21 May, 2014 the Burma Border Guard Police threw the bodies of two Rohingya men they had murdered across the border. The Bangladesh Guard promptly threw the bodies back into Burma. On the same day, the Burma Border Guard Police entered Bangladesh, fired on four Rohingya refugees working in a makeshift camp, killing 16 year old Mamed Shaffique. Mamed’s father has not found his son’s body which was taken by the police. Police need not fear reprisals for their actions. Rohingya are seen not as really human, not deserving to live. No police will be charged with the murder of a defenceless young boy. Mamed’s family, denied any human dignity, cannot perform a proper burial of their son. Mamed was one of 400,000 Rohingya undocumented refugees living in unofficial camps unsupported by the Bangladesh Government, the UN, or international organisations. Another 30,000 documented Rohingya live in official UNHCR camps. For the past 36 years, Rohingya have fled severe persecution in Burma, the largest mass movements in 1978, 1991-92, and 2012. In 2008, the UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees) launched a special initiative on ‘protracted refugee situations’ seeking durable solutions and improvements to lives of long-term refugees. Refugee groups identified as needing special attention included: Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan; refugees in Croatia and Serbia; Eritrean refugees in eastern Sudan; Burundian refugees in Tanzania; and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. All these situations were complex, but UNHCR focused on the most challenging to address, the protracted situation of Rohingya refugees. The States of Denial: A Review of UNHCR’s Response to the Protracted Situation of Stateless Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh concluded that Rohingya were unwanted in Bangladesh and other countries. They suffer discrimination, exploitation, and severe persecution, including but not limited to, forced labour, extortion, restriction on freedom of movement, absence of residence rights, denial of citizenship, inequitable marriage regulations, land confiscation, limited access to education and other public services in Burma. Rohingya have no place to go. UNHCR lives with the daily paradox of its mandate and earnest desire to help refugees, together with the reality of its inability to alleviate the root causes of their suffering, Burma’s continued pervasive persecution of Rohingya and denial of citizenship. The UN Special Rapporteur mandate on the situation of human rights in Myanmar was established in 1992, for three reasons, one of which was the continued human rights abuses and such severe restrictions of Rohingya, that tens of thousands were forced to flee the country. UN bodies since have acknowledged what amounts to a state policy of deportation and forcible transfer of Rohingya and the abuses that contributed to it. The UN Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect (14 February 2014) warned that “stateless Rohingya and other Muslims continue to face a serious risk of mass atrocity crimes”. On May 24, 2014 Nurul Amin, an eight year old boy, returned home with firewood he collected in a nearby Maungdaw Township forest. An out-post army officer stopped him, as he passed by and seized the boy’s wood. When Nurul began to cry asking that his firewood be returned, the officer severely tortured him and then sent him to the Village Administration Office. The boy’s relatives collected the injured boy, who being Rohingya, was denied any medical care or treatment. “The police or other government officials do not think the Rohingya as a human being, otherwise they will not do such things against Rohingya people”, said Anis a local businessman..."
    Author/creator: Nancy Hudson-Rodd
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 24 July 2014


    Title: Activist, racial angst in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 13 June 2014
    Description/subject: "The late political scientist Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis has sometimes been dismissed by critics as mistaken and inaccurate. But in today's Myanmar, many proud pro-democracy activists are convinced that cultures do indeed clash and can be inherently incompatible when forced to co-exist. Specifically, many of them reject the notion that the alleged rising persecution of Muslims in Myanmar is symptomatic of a mindless suspicion or misunderstanding on the part of the Buddhist majority. Privately they say the friction signals a deep and justified anxiety over an encroaching alien culture..."
    Author/creator: William Barnes
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


    Title: The axis of Buddhist extremism
    Date of publication: 13 June 2014
    Description/subject: "... In northeast Asia, Mahayana Buddhism (Greater Vehicle) was eventually diluted by local customs and philosophies. Centuries later, as Islam spread east and Hinduism revived on the Indian subcontinent, Theravada (Lesser Vehicle) worship shrunk back to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, with its legacy in much of the rest of Asia reduced to a few abandoned stupas and statues. Jump forward to the 21st century and certain monks are calling for a fight against what is possibly the terminal phase of this long-term decline. In Sri Lanka, the most visible of these "religio-nationalist" Buddhist groups is known as the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Strike Force), which was officially inaugurated in July 2012. In Myanmar, there is the comparably extremist 969 Movement, so called because it claims to represent the numbers of attributes associated with the Buddha, his teachings and the clergy. The triggers for both groups' sometimes violent attacks are usually rumors of a Buddhist being raped or murdered by Muslims. Or sometimes a new mosque or church is under construction in a Buddhist majority area with a growing minority presence. From there, fighting often escalates into hours of vandalism and intimidation; in worst cases, the initial spark results in days of arson and mass killing..."
    Author/creator: Tom Farrell
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


    Title: Rohingya abuses expose Myanmar insecurities
    Date of publication: 11 June 2014
    Description/subject: "Faith-based violence, in most instances, is actuated by irrational fears of insecurity. The followers of a particular religion resort to violence when they perceive their religion to be under attack. Religious fundamentalism can be restrained by cultivating tolerance of diversity through education and by the state playing a role of independent arbiter. But where the state identifies itself ith one or other religious group, its obligation to treat all citizens equally is seriously compromised. The role of religion in society as a unifying or a disruptive force hinges on the cultural homogeneity of the society and the historical relationship between the communities inhabiting the land. Where feelings of mistrust and suspicion existed, religion has been used to further deepen divisions. Nowhere is this more evident now than in the perpetration of barbaric acts against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Hundreds of Muslims have been killed and more than 100,000 forced to flee their homes. Eighty percent of the population of the country consists of Buddhists, and Ashin Wirathu, the monk leader of the violent "969" movement, has attempted to justify lynching of Muslims in the name of defending Buddhism against the encroaching influence of Islam..."
    Author/creator: Nauman Asghar
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


    Title: Laws enforce discrimination in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 18 March 2014
    Description/subject: "A special commission in Myanmar is now drafting legislation that if passed would effectively limit the rights of certain minority groups. At the request of the speaker of the parliament, President Thein Sein earlier this month formed a commission charged with drafting legislation on two laws: one concerning restricting religious conversions and another on controlling population growth. Although the official notification creating the commission does not mention religion, both laws are directed against the country's minority Muslim community. The first will severely limit the conversion of Buddhist women to Islam and the second will restrict Muslim families to no more than two children. A wide spectrum of Burmese society will be questioned "in a transparent manner" by the commission, while any proposed legislation should be in conformity with the constitution, diverse beliefs, national unity, and Myanmar culture, according to the notification. Regulations of other countries will also be examined in the process, the notification said..."
    Author/creator: David I Steinberg
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


    Title: Mantra of Rage (video)
    Date of publication: 08 October 2013
    Description/subject: After deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims, Dateline asks if monk Ashin Wirathu's anti-Islamic teachings are behind the tension.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: SBS Dateline
    Format/size: Adobe Flash (17 minutes)
    Date of entry/update: 17 November 2014


    Title: The Dark Side of Transition: Violence Against Muslims in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 01 October 2013
    Description/subject: Conclusion: "Anti-Indian and anti-Muslim sentiments and violence are not a new phenomenon in Myanmar, with riots and killings having occurred regularly since the British colonial period. At this delicate moment of transition, the risks of these old enmities resurfacing is serious. Both legitimate grievances and bigoted intolerance can now be expressed more openly using modern technology and this allows extremist views, including by some in the Buddhist clergy, to be spread more rapidly and widely. Following intercommunal clashes in Rakhine State in 2012, Myanmar has seen anti- Muslim violence in several towns and villages in the central part of the country, leaving dozens dead and thousands displaced. The response from the authorities has been far from adequate, but there are indications that government leaders and the police recognise the seriousness of the situation and are taking steps to tackle it. President Thein Sein has condemned the violence and stated that he has a “zero-tolerance” policy, but problems remain in translating these words into reality on the ground. In the most recent incidents, police appear to have been responding more quickly and more assertively, minimising destruction and casualties. Buddhist perpetrators are being prosecuted and imprisoned more quickly and in greater numbers. A security response is not sufficient, however. In order to effectively address the problem, political, religious and community leaders need to condemn extremist rhetoric. Those who are spreading messages of intolerance and hatred must not go unchallenged. Otherwise, this issue could come to define the new Myanmar, tarnishing its international image and threatening the success of its transition away from decades of authoritarianism."
    Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG) Asia Report N°251
    Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/251-the-dark-side-of-tr...
    Date of entry/update: 01 October 2013


    Title: BURMA UPDATE: SERIOUS CRIMES CONTINUE
    Date of publication: 28 September 2013
    Description/subject: REGIME’S PERSECUTION AND DISCRIMINATION OF ROHINGYA CONTINUES: One year on, Rohingya IDPs face ongoing hardship; Extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, and other abuses against Rohingya continue; Regime fuels anti-Rohingya discrimination; UN slams Naypyidaw over human rights violations against Rohingya... ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE SPREADS UNCHECKED: Regime idle as Anti-Muslim violence spreads; U Wirathu proposes restrictions on interfaith marriages; Regime backs U Wirathu; Muslims, Buddhists jailed over religious violence... TATMADAW FLOUTS AGREEMENTS, TARGETS KIA, SSA-N, TNLA, AND NMSP: Tatmadaw offensives damage peace prospects in Kachin conflict; Limited aid for 100,000 IDPs;p Despite agreements, Tatmadaw attacks against ethnic armed groups continue... FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY DENIED; ARBITRARY ARRESTS & IMPRISONMENT ON THE RISE: Peaceful Gathering Law enables ongoing suppression of activists; Arbitrary arrests and imprisonment under repressive laws continue; Women human rights defenders targeted; Proposed new laws to introduce more restrictions.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
    Format/size: pdf (232K)
    Date of entry/update: 28 September 2013


    Title: Freedom from Hate - 101 East returns to Myanmar to investigate the religious hatred plaguing the country. (video)
    Date of publication: 06 September 2013
    Description/subject: Religious and racial hatred simmers in the once repressed southeast Asian country of Myanmar... Optimism for the country's reforms is fast fading as tensions between majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities have left over 250 people dead and displaced more than 140,000. .. In the newly liberated media, free speech has quickly turned to hate speech, drowning out moderate voices. Some say powerful interests are igniting decades of suppressed prejudice in order to derail the country's transition to democracy. Unless leaders and moderate voices are willing to speak out, only the loudest and most extreme voices will be heard. Unless the country can come to embrace its diversity, and see it as a strength, peace and stability could remain elusive. Pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi famously wrote about freedom from fear, but can Myanmar now free itself from hate?
    Author/creator: Aela Callan
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
    Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/
    Date of entry/update: 08 September 2013


    Title: Violence and responsibility in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 23 August 2013
    Description/subject: "After a brief lull in Buddhist-Muslim conflict in Myanmar, there are reports of renewed violence and unrest in western Rakhine State, where Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhines remain forcibly separated. A law that would restrict inter-religious marriage is gaining in popularity, while Buddhist monks associated with the 969 movement continue to preach anti-Muslim sermons. At the same time, they rely on a particular interpretation of Buddhist teachings to deny responsibility for the violence committed in the name of 969 and the protection of Buddhism. However, others have argued for a different interpretation of Buddhist philosophy rooted in the teaching of ''right speech'' and an awareness of the effects of our actions on others..."
    Author/creator: Matthew J Walton
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


    Title: Patterns of Anti-Muslim Violence in Burma: A Call for Accountability and Prevention
    Date of publication: 20 August 2013
    Description/subject: "In this report, PHR documents how persecution of and violence against the Rohingya in Burma has spread to other Muslim communities throughout the country. PHR conducted eight separate investigations in Burma and the surrounding region between 2004 and 2013. PHR’s most recent field research in early 2013 indicates a need for renewed attention to violence against minorities and impunity for such crimes. The findings presented in this report are based on investigations conducted in Burma over two separate visits for a combined 21-day period between March and May 2013"
    Author/creator: Bill Davis, Andrea Gittleman, JD,, Marissa Brodney, Holly Atkinson, MD.
    Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (executive summary)
    Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
    Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-reduced version; 3.66MB-original), html
    Alternate URLs: https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/Burma-Violence-Report-August-2013.pdf
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/Burma-Violence-Burmese-Executive-Summary-August-2013.pdf
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_other/PHR_Burma_Violence_Map_Aug%202013.pdf
    http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/phr-documents-systematic-patterns-of-anti-...
    http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/reports/patterns-of-anti-muslim-violence-in-burma-a-cal...
    Date of entry/update: 15 September 2013


    Title: The futile and violent search for ‘authenticity’ in Burma
    Date of publication: 12 July 2013
    Description/subject: "The recent conflagrations of sectarian violence in Burma have shocked the country and the world, having left thousands displaced, scores dead, and millions of kyat of property damaged. They have also left a series of fragmented analyses, as commentators struggle to make sense of the slaughter. On one hand, some – incapable of seeing beyond a ‘big-bad Burma state’ paradigm – believe that the state is behind the current violence, and/or that disgruntled generals are orchestrating attacks from behind the scenes to legitimate the military’s institutional role. On the opposite end of the spectrum others argue that a deep-seated racism, fomented under the long years of the military regime, is now being ‘unleashed’ as the military relaxes controls. Both of these perspectives draw from evidence that is partially correct – the military-state has spurred internal divisions and likely has orchestrated violence in the past; there is racism in Burma society against dark-skinned people. But neither encompasses the entire story. The Buddhist-monk-led anti-Muslim campaign that has generated much collective hatred cannot be construed as emerging from a conspiratorial state elite. Likewise, such hatred cannot be imagined outside of the context of state institutions which insist upon eternal racial and religious differences: ID cards demand that babies at birth be given either – but not both – a “Muslim” or a “Burmese” identity; state-enforced birth-limits directed only at certain Muslim communities present them as second-class citizens and demographic threats. But understanding the spontaneous explosions of violence requires a consideration of the socio-economic context in which these attacks are occurring. Increasing economic stratification can help explain the growth in anxieties generated by concerns over resource distribution. The exclusion of perceived foreigners can be interpreted as an inter-class attempt to construct a community of legitimate claimants to this finally-growing – but unequally distributed – pie..."
    Author/creator: Elliott Prasse Freeman
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Democratic Voce of Burma (DVB)
    Format/size: html, pdf (115K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Futile_and_violent_search_for_%91authenticity%92_in_Burma.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 19 July 2013


    Title: State complicity in Myanmar pogroms
    Date of publication: 01 July 2013
    Description/subject: "The government of Myanmar's President Thein Sein, so active in its efforts to assure Western governments and investors that the new Myanmar will never return to the dark days of the previous ruling military junta, has so far wholly failed to prevent the contagious spiral of brutal attacks on Muslim communities carried out in town after town by suspiciously well-organized Buddhist gangs. Thein Sein's periodic appeals for ''an end to communal violence" are less than convincing given the absence of any government measures or plan to stem the anti-Muslim tide and prevent the next outbreak. Leaflets and magazines denigrating Muslims are being churned out every day across the country. Extremist Buddhist monks, meanwhile, continue to spread a perniciously xenophobic version of Theravada Buddhism through inflammatory sermons directed against a Muslim minority that comprises only 5% of the population in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million..."
    Author/creator: Tom Fawthrop
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


    Title: Anger and anxiety in multi-ethnic Myanmar
    Date of publication: 28 June 2013
    Description/subject: "...The proposed ideas of U Wirathu and his ‘969’ movement to boycott Muslim businesses and restricting marriage of Buddhist women to men of Muslim faith are unconstitutional and ill-conceived. It is a well-known fact that there is a widespread anxiety and anger in Buddhist communities. This anxiety and anger drives the growing support for U Wirathu and his 969 movement. The threat perception in regard to Islam and its impact on Myanmar’s society cannot be simply dismissed as primordial hatred or psychologized as self-victimization as if it were a matter of a collective psychological development disorder. To avoid a further escalation and overcome this crisis, it is important to acknowledge the existence of anger and anxieties in Buddhist communities and to understand the underlying economic, social, and cultural problems. Only when the root problems are understood, can they be factored into sustainable, peaceful, and political solutions..."
    Author/creator: Dr. Tun Kyaw Nyein & Dr. Susanne Prager Nyein
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Mizzima"
    Format/size: pdf (204K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/opinion/contributor/9598-anger-and-anxiety-in-multi-ethnic-myanmar
    Date of entry/update: 29 June 2013


    Title: Two Sides of the Sangha
    Date of publication: 19 June 2013
    Description/subject: "The now ubiquitous emblems of the radical anti-Muslim 969 campaign glare at you from Burma’s shop fronts and taxi windscreens. Bootleg DVD sellers hawk discs featuring the sermons of prominent 969 monks alongside the bestselling Korean soap operas. But despite the obvious prominence of the campaign, its radical teachings promoting segregation of Buddhists and Muslims are far from being embraced by everyone. The Irrawaddy spoke to a 969 leader, MyananSayadaw U Thaddhamma, and an anti-969 monk, U Pantavunsa, to learn more about this controversial movement..."
    Author/creator: Kyaw Phyo Tha
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 23 July 2013


    Title: Massacre In Central Burma: Muslim Students Terrorized and Killed in Meiktila
    Date of publication: 20 May 2013
    Description/subject: "Anti-Muslim violence swept through central Burma in spring 2013, reportedly sparked by an argument at a gold shop and the killing of a Buddhist monk in the town of Meiktila in Burma’s Mandalay Division, on March 20, 2013. During the next three days, attacks spread to neighboring townships, as armed groups of men from the majority Buddhist population reportedly set fire to more than 1,500 homes, destroyed more than a dozen mosques and three madrassas, and killed more than 100 people among the minority Muslim population. Investigators with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) dispatched to the region immediately following these events interviewed survivors of a massacre of students and teachers in Meiktila on the morning of March 21. PHR investigators returned to the region in late April to conduct additional in-depth interviews and corroborate testimony from survivors, eyewitnesses, and fami- ly members of those killed. For their security, the names and identifying details of many of these informants have been changed or withheld. This report includes the most detailed narrative to date of the attack on Muslim students, teachers, and neighborhood residents in the Mingalar Zayyone quarter of Meiktila, as compiled from interviews with 33 key informants, including 14 eyewitnesses. The accounts include testimony that local police stood by and watched while hundreds of people went on a rampage of violence and destruction, including the killing of unarmed Muslims, and that some Buddhist monks incited and even participated in the attacks. The anti-Muslim violence in Meiktila provoked an international outcry, and local prosecutors initiated proceedings. Three Muslims were quickly convicted of theft and assault in April in connection with the dispute at the gold shop, and six Muslim men were arrested in May on charges related to the killing of a Buddhist monk in Meiktila. As of mid-May, however, no one else had reportedly been charged or convicted for assault, murder, or arson in a massacre that left dozens of people dead, thousands displaced, and many of Meiktila’s Muslim homes, mosques, schools, and businesses destroyed. At a time when the United States and European Union have been lifting sanctions against Burma and strengthening economic ties, PHR hopes this report will refocus attention on a horrific example of religious violence that has become far too common in Burma in the past several years, as PHR has documented. Unless more of that country’s political and religious leaders firmly denounce such attacks and take concrete steps to hold perpetrators accountable and promote reconciliation, Burma’s recent slow progress toward greater freedom, openness, and peace could be derailed"
    Author/creator: Richard Sollom, Holly Atkinson
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
    Format/size: pdf (910K-OBL version; 2.2MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/Burma-Meiktila-Massacre-Report-May-2013.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 27 May 2013


    Title: Myanmar needs a new nationalism
    Date of publication: 20 May 2013
    Description/subject: "Many outside observers have been shocked to see Buddhists in Myanmar leading recent violent actions against Muslims. Our recollections of tens of thousands of Buddhist monks chanting loving-kindness while demonstrating peacefully against the former military government in 2007 clash with recent images of monks using their sermons to advocate for a boycott of Muslim businesses and in some cases even leading mobs to destroy mosques and physically attack Muslims. What would lead a Buddhist monk like U Wirathu to exhort his followers to practice discrimination rather than follow the Buddha's example of compassion for others? And what motivates the rapid spread of the anti-Muslim 969 Buddhist boycott campaign in Myanmar? The symbolism and actions of the 969 campaign are deeply embedded in Burmese Buddhist culture and can invoke seemingly contradictory interpretations and responses. Yet the current government response, focused on strengthening rule of law, inadequately recognizes these dynamics and ignores the pervasive need for a reappraisal of the role of Buddhism in Myanmar's transition to a modern, democratic state..."
    Author/creator: Matthew J Walton
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 May 2013


    Title: Hate thy neighbor in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 09 May 2013
    Description/subject: "...The propagation of the "Muslim threat" discourse serves the Myanmar government in various ways. It may justify the enduring political and security role of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar's military), the militarization of regions deemed unstable, and the ongoing monitoring, control, and oppression of civilians in the name of upholding national security. The military-dominated Union Solidarity and Development Party may seek to take advantage of the so-called threat to argue that it is best-placed to safeguard security and stability in the country ahead of 2015 elections. Anti-Muslim sentiment may also serve to foment Buddhist nationalism, benefiting the Buddhist-Burman majority state institutions. The government may seek to harness burgeoning notions of Buddhist solidarity, which are consolidated in opposition to a common enemy or "other" (unambiguously described by U Wirathu as "evil Muslims") to legitimize its rule and dilute the reality of its own failings. Plainly put, Muslims in Myanmar may offer an alternate scapegoat on which the proverbial mob can project their grievances. The state-led discriminatory attitudes, polices and treatment of Muslims, particularly the Rohingya, seem designed in part to uphold the maxim of the judge in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, who states: 'What joins men together is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies.'"
    Author/creator: David Hopkins
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 May 2013


    Title: In Burma and Sri Lanka, Anti-Muslim Nationalism Opens Wounds
    Date of publication: 03 May 2013
    Description/subject: "Recent incidents of anti-Muslim religious nationalism in Sri Lanka and Burma, ostensibly in defense of the Theravada Buddhist faith held by the majority, have opened fresh wounds. Growing violence appears in danger of spinning completely out of control in Burma, most lately in the town of Okkan on the outskirts of Rangoon, where a Buddhist mob burned as many as a dozen homes and ransacked a shop shouting “Let’s destroy the property of Muslims.” Two mosques were desecrated and Qurans were torn to pieces. Some of these are violent events with alleged government or Buddhist monastic (sangha) backing. Others appear spontaneous, beyond the control of state and Buddhist hierarchy. Either way, they are destructive and troubling. Buddhism is revered as a faith of healing and mercy, but like all religions, it can promote contradictory elements of triumphalism and intolerance..."
    Author/creator: Bruce Matthews
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 21 July 2013


    Title: Anti-Muslim Violence Tears Apart Communities Near Rangoon — Special Report
    Date of publication: 02 May 2013
    Description/subject: "OKKAN TOWNSHIP—A Buddhist mob advanced on War Yon Daw village with swords, stones and machetes, trapping any Muslims who were unable to escape. Moe Kyaw, 59, was caught by the mob in the attack on Tuesday afternoon in War Yon Daw, where Buddhists began attacks on Muslim communities on Tuesday, along with his family of five. The mob attacked his home from two sides, chasing the family down the street and hacking at them with their blades before burning down the house. “As we ran away they hit us with knives and machetes. All of my family has suffered,” he said. “My wife’s younger sister and my two daughters are missing. We haven’t had any information about where they are.” Moe Kyaw, a proud patriarch, broke down in tears as he recounted how the mob sliced at his head with swords, cutting his hands as he raised them to protect himself. “We know all of the attackers’ names. This is the first time that I’ve had a problem with my neighbors,” he said. “We respect Buddhists, even though we are Muslims.”..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/archives/33564
    Date of entry/update: 02 May 2013


    Title: Violence Spreads to Villages Near Burma’s Biggest City
    Date of publication: 01 May 2013
    Description/subject: "OKKAN — At least one Muslim village was set alight on Wednesday evening as violence continued to spread in Okkan Township north of Rangoon and Burma’s latest round of anti-Muslim violence claimed its first casualty. The violence in Okkan on Wednesday followed a day of attacks on Muslim communities on Tuesday, when four villages were razed and a number of Muslims attacked with machetes and sticks. Zaw Zaw Naing, a Muslim from Okkan who was badly beaten by a Buddhist mob on Tuesday, died at Rangoon Hospital on Wednesday. Nine injured Muslims from Okkan remain in hospitals in Rangoon, Taik Kyi and Okkan townships. “We did not do anything wrong to the Buddhists,” Moe Kyaw, an elderly Muslim man who was wounded in the head and hands by a Buddhist mob, told The Irrawaddy from his bed in Okkan Hospital. “But they tried to kill my whole family.” At least two mosques and two madrasas have been destroyed since Tuesday along with more than 100 houses. In Kyawe Poan Lay village, The Irrawaddy can confirm at least 49 houses, a mosque and a madrasa were destroyed on Tuesday..."
    Author/creator: LAWI WENG & DANIEL PYE
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 May 2013


    Title: "All You Can Do is Pray" - Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State
    Date of publication: 22 April 2013
    Description/subject: "This 153-page report describes the role of the Burmese government and local authorities in the forcible displacement of more than 125,000 Rohingya and other Muslims and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Burmese officials, community leaders, and Buddhist monks organized and encouraged ethnic Arakanese backed by state security forces to conduct coordinated attacks on Muslim neighborhoods and villages in October 2012 to terrorize and forcibly relocate the population. The tens of thousands of displaced have been denied access to humanitarian aid and been unable to return home..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
    Format/size: pdf (5MB-OBL version; 15.08-original; Summary and recommendations, 6.73MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/04/22/all-you-can-do-pray-0
    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0413_FullForWeb.pdf
    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0413_brochure_web.pdf (summary and recommendations: Photo feature)
    http://www.hrw.org/features/burma-ethnic-cleansing-arakan-state (slide show)
    http://www.hrw.org/fr/node/115009 (video)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2013


    Title: Buddhist monk uses racism and rumours to spread hatred in Burma
    Date of publication: 18 April 2013
    Description/subject: Thousands watch YouTube videos of 45-year-old 'Burmese Bin Laden' who preaches against country's Muslim minority...His name is Wirathu, he calls himself the "Burmese Bin Laden" and he is a Buddhist monk who is stoking religious hatred across Burma. The saffron-robed 45-year-old regularly shares his hate-filled rants through DVD and social media, in which he warns against Muslims who "target innocent young Burmese girls and rape them", and "indulge in cronyism". To ears untrained in the Burmese language, his sermons seem steady and calm – almost trance-like – with Wirathu rocking back and forth, eyes downcast. Translate his softly spoken words, however, and it becomes clear how his paranoia and fear, muddled with racist stereotypes and unfounded rumours, have helped to incite violence and spread misinformation in a nation still stumbling towards democracy..."
    Author/creator: Kate Hodal
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Guardian" (UK)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 18 April 2013


    Title: ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL BURMA
    Date of publication: 17 April 2013
    Description/subject: Anti-Muslim violence hits Meikhtila... Attacks spread to Pegu Division... Rangoon tense... Thein Sein warns of “use of force”... Regime authorities fail to intervene... UN cites possible regime complicity... Int’l community expresses concern, calls for regime to take action... Buddhist Monk U Wirathu and ‘969’ spearhead anti-Muslim campaign... Chronology of events.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
    Format/size: pdf (384K)
    Date of entry/update: 17 April 2013


    Title: Fear stalks Muslims in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 14 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Eyewitnesses to a massacre at an Islamic school say it was carried out by Buddhists, and many contend it stems from a coordinated effort with ties to the top... Mon Hnin, a 29-year-old Muslim woman from Meiktila, in central Myanmar, spent the night of March 20 with her daughter and mother-in-law hiding in terror in the bushes on the fringes of her neighbourhood. A wave of murderous anti-Muslim riots led by Buddhist extremists had exploded earlier that day in the dusty town with a population of 100,000 people, located 130km north of the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. Like the houses of many other Muslims in the town, the one belonging to Mon Hnin, whose name has been changed for security reasons, had been destroyed by a Buddhist mob in the Mingalar Zay Yone quarter and she and her relatives had to take refuge in the first place they could find..."
    Author/creator: Carlos Sardina Galache
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Bangkok Post", Spectrum
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 27 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar's Alarming Civil Unrest
    Date of publication: 09 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar, which last year had seemed confined to the western state of Rakhine, has exploded across the country. Mobs of Buddhists, some with ties to the militant 969 Movement, have attacked Muslims in the towns of Meiktila, Naypyidaw, Bago, and most recently, in Yangon, the largest city. Many Muslims in Yangon, Bago, and other large towns are afraid to go to the mosque, enter shops catering to Muslims, or show displays of their faith outside their homes or stores. At least 100,000 Muslims have been made homeless in the past two years, and hundreds have been killed. Many Muslim leaders had been warning of such attacks for months. Although the government had tried to tell donors, investors, journalists, and foreign diplomats that the violence in Rakhine state in 2012 was an issue localized to that area, in reality even last year there had begun to be attacks on mosques and some Muslim shops in other parts of the country. A number of donors and investors believed this reassurance because of the enormous opportunities in Myanmar, one of the last giant emerging markets to open up..."
    Author/creator: Joshua Kurlantzick
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Council on Foreign Relations (USA)
    Format/size: html (72K)
    Date of entry/update: 11 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar's neo-Nazi Buddhists get free rein
    Date of publication: 09 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Burma/Myanmar's radical "969 movement" has been central in the recent brutal pogroms against minority Muslims that have left at least 40 dead and 12,000 displaced. The Buddhist monk-led group, however, cannot be understood outside of the interface between President Thein Sein's government and the country's racist society at large. Nor can it be explained without examining the respective roles of a) the State, which in effect offers the country's neo-Nazi Buddhists impunity, b) Thein Sein's inaction, even amid indications of ethnic cleansing against minority Muslims, and c) the Aung San Suu Kyi-led opposition's moral bankruptcy throughout the crisis. The orgy of violence has raised several important questions about the country's direction and hopes for reform..."
    Author/creator: Maung Zarni
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013


    Title: SPECIAL REPORT - Buddhist monks incite Muslim killings in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 08 April 2013
    Description/subject: "...Ethnic hatred has been unleashed in Myanmar since 49 years of military rule ended in March 2011. And it is spreading, threatening the country's historic democratic transition. Signs have emerged of ethnic cleansing, and of impunity for those inciting it. Over four days, at least 43 people were killed in this dusty city of 100,000, just 80 miles (130 km) north of the capital of Naypyitaw. Nearly 13,000 people, mostly Muslims, were driven from their homes and businesses. The bloodshed here was followed by Buddhist-led mob violence in at least 14 other villages in Myanmar's central heartlands and put the Muslim minority on edge across one of Asia's most ethnically diverse countries. An examination of the riots, based on interviews with more than 30 witnesses, reveals the dawn massacre of 25 Muslims in Meikhtila was led by Buddhist monks - often held up as icons of democracy in Myanmar. The killings took place in plain view of police, with no intervention by the local or central government. Graffiti scrawled on one wall called for a "Muslim extermination."..."
    Author/creator: Jason Szep (Additional reporting by Min Zayer Oo.; Editing by Andrew R.C. Marshall, Michael Williams and Bill Tarrant.)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Reuters
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013


    Title: Racial hatred as policy in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 05 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Recent communal violence in Myanmar has underscored the risks that unresolved ethnic and religious issues represent to the long-term sustainability of recent political and economic reforms. While the former military regime is to blame for perpetuating ethnic and religious bigotry, many of those military officers-turned-politicians together with the democratic opposition now have an opportunity to reshape these crucial relations. The violence that erupted in central Myanmar town of Meiktila on March 20 represented the first large-scale anti-Muslim riots outside of Rakhine State since 2001. Mosques, homes and shops were burnt and destroyed in an orgy of violence that left at least 42 people dead, according to official statistics. Scores more were seriously injured and thousands have been left homeless..."
    Author/creator: Brian McCartan
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013


    Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: Ta Kreh and T'Nay Hsah Townships, December 2012
    Date of publication: 04 April 2013
    Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Hpa-an District, including a meeting that took place on December 7th 2012 on the grounds of the M--- village monastery in Noh Kay village tract, T'Nay Hsah Township. During this meeting, attended by 41 villagers from P---, A---, W--- and M--- villages, a monk presented a document with four rules regulating relations between Buddhist and Muslim villagers, which prohibit Buddhists from selling land to Muslims, prohibit Buddhist women from marrying Muslims and require Buddhists to buy goods from Buddhist shops only. Furthermore, the document states that those who do not follow the rules will be "punished effectively"; a photo of the document is included below. Information in this report suggests that the events described are seen by villagers as connected to events in Rakhine State, given the dissemination of a CD containing footage from Rakhine State amongst local villages prior to the rules being released. Further, the community member suggests that such meetings have taken place in other villages and townships, and that the relationship between Buddhist and Muslim villagers has deteriorated, with a reduction in trade and communication between the groups. A different KHRG community member also described the dissemination of similar documents by a monastery to Border Guard Force soldiers and local monks in K'Ter Tee village, Papun District; see "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo Townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (250K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b16.html
    Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


    Title: Buddhist Violence in Burma
    Date of publication: 03 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Buddhism is marked by concern for the welfare of all “sentient” creatures. But when it is harnessed to ethnic intolerance and extreme nationalism, it can turn violent..."
    Author/creator: Barbara Crossette
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Nation"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 19 October 2014


    Title: Buddhism turns violent in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 02 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Recent violence in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims in the central town of Meikhtila (also spelt Meiktila) and areas beyond, which has left a reported 43 people dead, as many as 12,000 displaced, and more than 1,000 homes and building destroyed, has raised concerns over the stability of the country's current democratic transition and the imposition of martial law in the troubled area has raised the specter of a return to direct military rule. The communal riots of the past year in Myanmar's western Rakhine State between Buddhist Rakhines and Muslim Rohingyas have now expanded into a broader Buddhist versus Muslim framing that has spread dangerously across the country. Buddhist campaigns against Muslims, such as the increasingly visible Buddhist nationalist ''969'' movement, seem to have inflamed tensions in Meikhtila and prompted outside observers to worry about the role of monks in encouraging discrimination and even violence against Myanmar's minority Muslim population. [1] While Buddhist nationalism has long had the potential to be turned against non-Buddhist groups, Buddhism's influence on politics and public opinion requires careful analysis in Myanmar's contemporary context..."
    Author/creator: Matthew J Walton
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013


    Title: When the lid blows off: Sectarian violence was not supposed to be part of Myanmar’s bright new direction
    Date of publication: 30 March 2013
    Description/subject: "WHEN Myanmar’s newly installed president and former soldier, Thein Sein, kick-started the country’s political transition two years ago, he hoped to usher in a clean and steady advance towards some sort of orderly democracy. Now, however, things are starting to turn out rather differently. Unwittingly, it seems, in relaxing decades of tight army control over the country, Mr Thein Sein and his reforming ministers have breathed life into some of the uglier forces in Myanmar society that authoritarian rule kept suppressed, notably sectarian violence. (In the past, when such violence took place, it was the prerogative of the armed forces to conduct it.)..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Economist"
    Format/size: html, jpeg
    Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


    Title: A Dangerous Resurgence of Communal Violence in Myanmar (English and Burmese)
    Date of publication: 28 March 2013
    Description/subject: "Over the past week there has been more inter-communal violence in Myanmar, this time in the country’s heartland – with the worst incidents in the town of Meiktila, between Mandalay and the capital Naypyitaw. The incident started with a brawl in a gold shop and rapidly escalated into large-scale Buddhist-Muslim clashes that left nearly 50 people dead and over twelve thousand displaced, according to the latest government figures. Other credible estimates put the number of displaced even higher. The Muslim community was the hardest hit, as it has tended to be in previous such clashes. More than three-quarters of those displaced were Muslims. Many of their homes were destroyed, and a number of religious buildings (mosques and madrassas) were burned down. Although a state of emergency and a visible presence of the security forces on the streets has restored calm, it will be weeks or months before the displaced can rebuild their homes and lives. And, given that most have lost everything – and are in fear of further attacks – there is uncertainty about how many of them would have the means or the confidence to return to their former neighbourhoods..."
    Author/creator: Jim Della-Giacoma
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: International Crisis Group
    Format/size: html (32K-English; 36K-Burmese)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroupblogs.org/resolvingconflict/files/2013/03/burmese-translation.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Everyday ethnic tensions in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 27 March 2013
    Description/subject: "Anyone who is paying attention to Myanmar right now should be deeply saddened by the recent violence in Meiktilla.[1] And, understandably, many are expressing mounting concern over the rise of virulently anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalism across the country, characterized in violent Facebook comments or incendiary speeches like those of U Wirathu.[2] We risk missing just how concerning the recent violence in Meikitalla is, however, if we focus only on the most extreme speech. There is extremely hateful speech, to be sure, just as there have been recent attempts to counteract it and call for peace.[3] It is also likely, as prominent 88 Generation leader Min Ko Naing recently pointed out, that there are those systematically seeking to encourage and profit from such violence and religious tension.[4] But it also needs to be noted that these virulent sentiments connect to a less violent, but nonetheless concerning – and, I believe, widespread – lack of understanding and trust between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Burma; the tensions are religious, not limited to questions of citizenship and ethnicity. This has to be recognized, because it helps explain how the more venomous statements find purchase; only recognizing this helps explain things like the rapid spread of the ‘969’ movement[5]or seeming national indifference to the violence in Rakhine State and central Burma. This in turn highlights why there is strong potential for more violence, countrywide. And it helps highlight the need for interfaith cooperation and reconciliation that a) moves quickly to counter-act rumours and misinformation campaigns, b) addresses specific sources of mistrust and conflict and c) finds other lines of connection and solidarity through which Buddhist and Muslim communities can strengthen ties..."
    Author/creator: Matt Schissler
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: \"New Mandala\"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 16 July 2014


    Title: Myanmar warns violence could threaten reforms
    Date of publication: 25 March 2013
    Description/subject: " Government urges citizens to avoid inciting violence after religious riots claim 32 lives over the weekend in Meikhtila. Myanmar's government has warned that religious violence could threaten democratic reforms after anti-Muslim mobs rampaged through three more towns in the country's predominantly Buddhist heartland. In an announcement on Monday night on state television, the government pledged to make "utmost efforts'' to halt the violence and incitement of racial and religious unrest. "We also urge the people to avoid religious extremes and violence which could jeopardise the country's democratic reform and development,'' it said. The mobs destroyed mosques and burned dozens of homes over the weekend despite attempts by the government to stem the nation's latest outbreak of sectarian violence..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Al Jazeera
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


    Title: Incident Report: Religious discrimination and restrictions in Papun District, September 2012
    Date of publication: 08 March 2013
    Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses in Dwe Lo Township, Papun District, and is based on an interview with a Muslim villager named Saw W---. Saw W--- is a resident of M--- village, situated 20-minutes on foot from K'Ter Tee village, where the incident happened. In the interview, the villager detailed events taking place around the time of September 10th 2012, regarding deterioration in the relationship between Muslim and Buddhist villagers, including a reported attack on a mosque. Further, the community member details the Border Guard Battalion #1013 Company Commander Saw Bah Yoh's issuing of an order prohibiting villagers from buying products from or selling to Muslims and how, after the KHRG community member documented the incident, a Tatmadaw Operations Commander based near K'Ter Tee called a meeting to encourage Buddhist and Muslim villagers to live beside each other peacefully. The community member describes the dissemination of these pamphlets by a monastery to Border Guard soldiers and local monks in K'Ter Tee in a separate situation update, "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo Townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (278K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b6.html
    Date of entry/update: 21 March 2013


    Title: “The ‘Wages of Burman-ness’: Ethnicity and Burman Privilege in Contemporary Myanmar1
    Date of publication: 19 October 2012
    Description/subject: READ ONLINE... ABSTRACT: "Ethnicity is one of the primary lenses through which scholars view conflict in Bur-ma/Myanmar. In this paper I examine the dominance of the majority ethnic group in Myanmar,the Burmans, and the ways in which Burman-ness functions as a privileged identity. I draw fromthe theoretical framework of Whiteness and White privilege in critical race theory to argue that,although there are important analytical differences between race and ethnicity, we can conceptua-lise Burman-ness as a form of institutionalised dominance similar to Whiteness. I support this ar- gument by documenting the ways in which Burmans are privileged in relation to non-Burmans,while still, in many cases, seeing themselves as equally subject to government repression. Thisanalysis of Burman privilege (and blindness to that privilege) is particularly relevant given the fact that the political reforms implemented by Myanmar’s new, partly civilian government since2011 have opened new opportunities for (mostly Burman) activists while coinciding with in-creased military violence in some non-Burman border regions of the country."... KEY WORDS: Burma, Myanmar, ethnic conflict, Burman, privilege, Whiteness
    Author/creator: Matthew Walton
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ”Journal of Contemporary Asia", 43:1 (2013):
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 22 July 2013


    Title: Religious Values in Plural Society
    Date of publication: 15 December 2004
    Description/subject: "The following text is an edited transcript of a Public Lecture delivered at the HDB Hub Auditorium on December 15th, 2004 and organised by The Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore (Darul Arqam). The paper deals with the question of the role of religious values in a plural society. Dr Chandra Muzaffar emphasised that it is important to reflect upon the role of religion in a contemporary soceity because there has been a religious resurgence in various parts of the world in the last thirty or forty year. Evidence suggests that religious resurgence has not been helpful in many multi-religious societies. The speaker attempts to explain the reason behind the somewhat negative impact of religious resurgence."
    Author/creator: Chandra Muzaffar
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
    Format/size: pdf (462K-reduced version; 601K-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.muis.gov.sg/cms/uploadedFiles/MuisGovSG/Research/MOPS%204%20-%20content%20v.2.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 September 2013


  • Anti-Muslim violence and discrimination - incidents and the humanitarian situation

    Individual Documents

    Title: Muslims Fear for Their Lives as Flames Consume Burma Town Near Former Capital
    Date of publication: 30 April 2013
    Description/subject: "RANGOON — Pages of a Koran lay torn and spread on the ground outside two mosques in the town of Okkan, on the outskirts of Rangoon. At the Cho Bali mosque, Korans were dumped in a small well outside. Down the road, a Muslim-owned shop lay in ruins while a crowd of about 100 Buddhist onlookers surveyed the scene. No help came for the victims of Burma’s latest round of inter-communal violence. They were left to pick up the pieces of their trashed possessions..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


    Title: ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL BURMA
    Date of publication: 17 April 2013
    Description/subject: Anti-Muslim violence hits Meikhtila... Attacks spread to Pegu Division... Rangoon tense... Thein Sein warns of “use of force”... Regime authorities fail to intervene... UN cites possible regime complicity... Int’l community expresses concern, calls for regime to take action... Buddhist Monk U Wirathu and ‘969’ spearhead anti-Muslim campaign... Chronology of events.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
    Format/size: pdf (384K)
    Date of entry/update: 17 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Meikhtila inter-communal violence Situation Report No. 4 (as of 9 April 2013)
    Date of publication: 09 April 2013
    Description/subject: * Since 6 April IDPs have been allowed to return to t heir damaged houses to search through debris in Meikhtil a prior to land clearance in preparation for rebuildi ng homes. * As a result of the Government-led ‘family reunifica tion process’ several persons have been reunited with fa mily members. IDPs sheltering in monasteries are now relocated to two schools (BEMS 2 and BEPS 16) whils t others will be relocated from four schools to train ing centers..... According to the updated Government figures release d on 9 April, the total number of IDPs in seven cam ps in Meikhtila currently stands at 8,441. As a result of the family reunion process, begun on 27 March, som e people have relocated from camps to settle with family mem bers whilst others have returned to their homes. Mo reover, the Government has relocated some IDPs from schools to the Transportation and Communication Training Cente r in preparation for classes to resume in June. Further movements of those who lost their homes and were te mporarily housed in monasteries are now reported to be settli ng into two schools (BEPS 16 and BEMS 2) as they aw ait a return to their homes. This process of relocation to shelters is expected to be completed in the comi ng days. On 2 April unconfirmed reports from local residents estimate Meikhtila township and more located in Sue Lay Kone in Myit Tahr towns hip. with assessment to these areas, in collaboration wi th the government The official Government figures on the number of houses by arson sits at 1,594. Starting on 6 April, family members have been allow ed to return to their properties and search for personal belongings before the debris an d land No further reports of unrest have been recorded to normal, although IDPs report that they are cautious and there remains a sense of a maintains a state of emergency for the imposed following the unrest in late March Similarly, no further incidents have been reported Region. As is the case in Meikhtila, the Nattalin, Okpo and Zigon townships of Bago that security measures are in place and the Government is reporting more than on accusations of inciting the unrest. On 3 April the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, U Wunna Maung Lwin, in Nay Pyi Taw where he outlined the Government’s position most recent information on government contributions and private donations. Humanitarian Response Food Needs: Inter- agency rapid assessment reco oil, and salt, to guarantee standards of assistance women is also prioritized. Response: The WFP team is in place and co allocations 15 day rations to all displaced persons , this includes bags of salt, and 46 bags of nutrition powder food is being distributed by private donors, community based orga nizations and Government rice and instant noodles or snacks). Gaps & Constraints: Ensure regular food distribution in back to their homes and assistance to host families has yet to be determined. Meikhtila, Myanmar from local residents estimate d 3,000 IDP may be sheltering in Yin Daw within and more located in Sue Lay Kone in Myit Tahr towns hip. Agencies are on stand with assessment to these areas, in collaboration wi th the government..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    Format/size: pdf (338K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://reliefweb.int/report/myanmar/myanmar-meikhtila-inter-communal-violence-situation-report-no-4...
    Date of entry/update: 16 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Aid for people hit by inter-communal violence
    Date of publication: 03 April 2013
    Description/subject: 03-04-2013 Operational Update: "Violence that erupted on 20 March in Meikhtila, in the centre of the country, has driven some 10,000 people from their homes. Scores more have been killed or injured. The Myanmar Red Cross Society, supported by the ICRC, has started distributing relief supplies in an effort to meet the most urgent needs. So far, some 10,000 people have received aid. "We are deeply concerned about the recent outbreak of inter-communal violence in Meikhtila and the growing tensions throughout the country," said Tha Hla Shwe, president of the Myanmar Red Cross. "It is crucial that we work with full impartiality. The fact that our volunteers belong to both communities facilitates our access to those in need and fosters acceptance by the population."..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Meikhtila inter-communal violence Situation Report No. 3 (as of 2 April 2013) - UNOCHA
    Date of publication: 02 April 2013
    Description/subject: Highlights: • Since 28 March the authorities began to clear damaged houses and debris in Meikhtila as shops and commercial businesses reopen. • As a result of the Government-led ‘family reunification process’ several persons have been reunited with family members. IDPs sheltering in monasteries are being relocated to two schools whilst others will be relocated from four schools to training centers. • Sporadic acts of arson and unrest spread from Meikhtila to Bago Region and in Yangon reports of disturbances in four townships continue. • A state of emergency remains in place for four townships in Meikhtila (Mahliang, Meikhtila, Thazi, and Wundwin) and Bago townships (Gyobingauk, Minhla, Monyo, Nattalin, Okpo, and Zigon townships
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    Format/size: pdf (184K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://reliefweb.int/report/myanmar/myanmar-meikhtila-inter-communal-violence-situation-report-no-3...
    Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Inter-communal conflict -- Information Bulletin n° 1, 29 March 2013 - IFRC
    Date of publication: 29 March 2013
    Description/subject: Summary: "Inter - communal conflict erupted on 20 March following an argument in a shop selling gold items in the Eastern Market of Meikhtila, around 150 km south of M andalay in central Myanmar. Reports indicate a quarrel between a Buddhist cust omer and a Muslim shop owner escalated , leading to clashes that quickly spread to many parts of the town. In Meikhtila, a total of 12,846 people are estimated to have been displaced, including 9,563 now living in five temporary locations ( i.e. three schools, one education al college and a football stadium) with a further 3,283 in local monasteries. According to a recent UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( UNOCHA ) situational report , up to 40 people have been killed and 61 injured in the fighting with a n estimated total of 2,245 houses destroyed. The Myanmar Red Cross Society has responded immediately to those affected by the clashes , in co ordinat ion with the International Committee of the Red Cross ( ICRC ) , to provide search and rescue, first aid and referral services. Red Cross ambulances have also been used to transfer more serious cases of injury to local healthcare facilities. Local v olunteers are participating in support of the inter - agency assessment team to ascertain needs and are working closely with local authorities..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    Format/size: html (502K)
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Update on the Inter-communal violence in Meikhtila and Bago as of 29 March 2013 - UNOCHA
    Date of publication: 29 March 2013
    Description/subject: As the Government, UN agencies and partners are responding to the need in Meikhtila in accordance to the needs identified by the Inter-agency rapid assessment, which were shared and agreed with the authorities, the following note is an update on the current situation in Meikhtila Township, Mandalay Region and Bago Region.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    Format/size: html (24K)
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Meikhtila inter-communal violence, Situation Report No. 2 - UNOCHA
    Date of publication: 27 March 2013
    Description/subject: Highlights: • A state of emergency remains in place for four townships in Meikhtila (Mahliang, Meikhtila, Thazi, and Wundwin) and, although the atmosphere remains cautious, security has been restored with some markets and shops reopening • Preliminary findings from the Inter - agency rapid assessment team indicate 12,846 people are displaced in Meikhtila . • Coordinatio n Meetings have begun in Meikhtila between humanitarian organizations and the authorities . The M inistry of S ocial Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR) is in charge of coordinating the emergency response for affected population • Sporadic acts of arson spread from Meikhtila to Okpho and Gyobingauk in Bago Region . Minor disturbances in Yangon
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    Format/size: pdf (183K)
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Anti-Muslim violence spreads in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 25 March 2013
    Description/subject: "Sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims is spreading beyond central Myanmar, international and local officials have warned after angry mobs last week destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed an estimated 50 people in the town of Meiktila. Attacks, mainly by Buddhist mobs on Muslim shops and mosques, were reported on Sunday in several towns and villages, including Yamethin and Lewei, near the 150km route south from Meiktila to the capital, Naypyidaw. No deaths were confirmed..."
    Author/creator: Gwen Robinson and agencies
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Financial Times"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 06 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: Meikhtila inter-communal violence, Situation Report No. 1 - UNOCHA
    Date of publication: 25 March 2013
    Description/subject: "The inter-communal violence began on 20 March with an argument in a gold shop in the Eastern Market of Meikhtila, Mandalay Region, which escalated quickly with crowds setting fire to business properties, religious buildings and houses. The Government estimates that over 12,000 people have been displaced by the violence, including some 9,710 now in six temporary locations (schools, football stadium) and another 2,800 in local monasteries.These figures, according to the Deputy Minister MoSWRR, who is in charge of the response, are still provisional. Reports indicate that another unspecified number of people may have fled the area. Media reports indicate several casualties and fatalities but numbers are still unclear and vary depending on the source. The violence continued throughout the night and into the 21 st of March, subsequently spreading to other areas of the town and in the neighbouring town of Tharzi on 22 March. In Meikhtila, although the atmosphere remains tense, there are no reports of violence since 22 March. However , other minor incidents occurred in Tharzi, Yamethin and Tatkon townships on 23 March. The Meikhtila market remains closed although a number of shops in the area reopened on the weekend. 2 www.unocha.org The mission of the United Nations Office for the Co ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mob ilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors. Celebrating 20 years of coordinated humanitarian ac tion The government deployed additional troops to contro l the situation and declared a curfew from 18:00 to 6:00 on 20 March and subsequently the State of Emergency in Meikhtila and 3 neighboring townships: Tharzi, Wandwin and Ma Hlaing on 22 March. High-level Gove rnment and UN delegations visited the area and appealed for calm. The Inter-faith Friendship Organ ization issued a statement calling for restoration of peace and stability on 23 March. On the same day, the Gov ernment has requested international partners to mobilize humanitarian assistance..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    Format/size: pdf (197K)
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


  • Anti-Muslim violence and discrimination - international comment

    Individual Documents

    Title: UN Human Rights Council, 22nd Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (English)
    Date of publication: 17 April 2013
    Description/subject: "This report looks at the impact of ongoing reforms on the human rights situation in Myanmar, assessing positive developments, shortcomings, areas that remain unaddressed and gaps in implementation"
    Author/creator: Tomás Ojea Quintana
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations Human Rights Council (A/HRC/22/58)
    Format/size: pdf (293K)
    Date of entry/update: 12 March 2013


    Title: Burma’s Ethnic Violence ‘Poses Threat to Foreign Investment’
    Date of publication: 11 April 2013
    Description/subject: "Continued religious and ethnic violence in Burma could deter much-needed investment by fostering a “wait and see” attitude among foreign companies and entrepreneurs, according to a study of the recent spate of anti-Muslim rioting and arson in the country. “Failure to prevent the spread of sectarian violence could dampen the influx of critical foreign investment,” the briefing on Burma by British business risk consultants Maplecroft said. The report identifies the booming tourism industry as the most vulnerable, with the negative impact quickly spreading to the retail and infrastructure sectors. “[Burma] has attracted significant interest from investors since the US and EU pared back sanctions in 2012. However, stakeholders remain cautious about making significant investments in the country, preferring to wait and see how the reform process moves forward,” said Maplecroft’s principal Asia analyst Arvind Ramakrishnan..."
    Author/creator: William Boot|
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 11 April 2013


    Title: ASEAN parliamentarians call for urgent national and regional response to sectarian violence in Myanmar, and independent investigation into Madrasa fire in Yangon
    Date of publication: 02 April 2013
    Description/subject: "he ASEAN inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) is deeply concerned by reports of violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar and urges the Myanmar Parliament, ASEAN and other interested parties to act immediately to take appropriate measures to seek a long-term solution to inter-communal tensions whilst also protecting communities that remain at risk..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ASEAN inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar authorities must do more to stop spread of violence – UN independent expert
    Date of publication: 28 March 2013
    Description/subject: 28 March 2013 – An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on the Government of Myanmar to take urgent steps to tackle the prejudice and discrimination fuelling violence and destruction between Muslim and Buddhist communities. “The Government must take immediate action to stop the violence from spreading to other parts of the country and undermining the reform process,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN News Centre
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013


    Title: Myanmar: UN official voices concern at reports of increased sectarian violence
    Date of publication: 25 March 2013
    Description/subject: "The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide today voiced deep concern at reports of increased violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities in Myanmar, and called on leaders to promote respect for diversity and peaceful coexistence. Last week President Thein Sein reportedly declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law in four central townships after several days of unrest between Buddhists and Muslims, including in Meiktila where at least 30 people were killed. “The recent episode of violence in Meiktila in central Myanmar raises concerns that sectarian violence is spreading to other parts of the country,” stated Special Adviser Adama Dieng. “In the context of last year’s violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, there is a considerable risk of further violence if measures are not put in place to prevent this escalation.”..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UN News Centre
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 April 2013