Physicians group blames government for Myanmar religious strife

RNS () — Buddhists are killing Muslims in Myanmar with impunity because the government failed to stop the attacks, New … Continued

RNS () — Buddhists are killing Muslims in Myanmar with impunity because the government failed to stop the attacks, New York-based Physicians for Human Rights reported amid fresh assaults that left more Muslims homeless.

During the past year, scattered clashes across Buddhist-majority Myanmar, also known as Burma, have left more than 240 people dead, most of them Muslims.

A mob of about 1,000 Buddhists burned more than 35 Muslim homes and a dozen shops on August 24 in Kanbalu in Myanmar’s central Sagaing Division after hearing rumors that a Muslim man sexually assaulted a young Buddhist woman, police told The Associated Press.

Police arrested a male Muslim suspect but refused the mob’s demand to hand him over, sparking its arson attack against his innocent Muslim neighbors, police said. The fires also destroyed a mosque.

“The Burmese government must make a concerted effort to allow an effective investigation into these abuses and hold perpetrators accountable,” the physicians group wrote in its report.

More ominously, the report concluded: “While such massacres are not sweeping the country at present, the brazen nature of these crimes and the widespread culture of impunity in which these massacres occur form deeply troubling preconditions that make such crimes very likely to continue.

“If these conditions go unaddressed, Burma may very well face countrywide violence on a catastrophic level, including potential crimes against humanity and/or genocide.”

The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights, Tomas Quintana, investigated Buddhist attacks against Muslims in another central town — Meiktila, in Mandalay Division — during a 10-day trip that ended on August 21.

Residents accused Quintana of bias against Buddhists involved in the Meiktila clashes, which occurred in March, and the government denied his claims.

Quintana’s experience gave him “an insight into the fear residents felt when being chased down by violent mobs.” Police allegedly stood by as angry mobs beat, stabbed and burned to death 43 people, he said.

Rakhine state’s Muslims describe themselves as citizens who are persecuted because they are minority ethnic Rohingya competing with Buddhists in the impoverished region.

Buddhist militants and the government insist the Rohingya are not citizens but instead are Muslim ethnic Bengalis who have illegally migrated from neighboring Bangladesh during past decades.

When Buddhists rampage and torch Muslims’ homes and businesses, driving them off their land, there are “multiple instances where police and/or the army attacked Rohingyas and other Muslims, or watched as they were attacked, instead of protecting them,” the physicians’ report said.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

More on:
Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

concert
Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.