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Anti-Muslim violence and discrimination - General articles and analysis

Websites/Multiple Documents

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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