Urgent Action Needed to Save Muslims in Burma from Pre-Planned Violence
March 22, 2013
On 20th March 2013 at 10 am, a Buddhist couple from Meiktila Township entered a gold shop to try and sell some fake gold and started to threaten and abuse the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper, who tried to defend himself with a stick, suffered a head injury.
After half an hour, a crowd gathered and started stoning the shop and destroyed it. Two hours later, a big crowd came to the town and started destroying property, Muslims’ shops, mosques and houses were burnt down.
The death toll is 47, including 11 women, 28 madrassa students and 5 teachers. Security personnel are not protecting. One reliable source said the killing, burning and looting is still going on in Meiktila as well as other towns and villages. There are over a 1000 Muslims taking refuge in the football field with no food. Food cannot be sent to them because of “security”.
This was a pre-planned attack on minority Muslims of Burma. During recent weeks anti-Muslim campaigns have been getting stronger in Burma. President Thein Sein’s government has incited the attacks and ignored the growing anti-Muslim campaigns. A monk, who was arrested for similar acts in 2003 and subsequently released, has been preaching the ‘cleansing of Muslims from Myanmar’ for months now.
BROUK President Tun Khin said, “It is very clear that security forces are just watching while the mobs are destroying and burning Muslim’s houses. Cleansing of Muslims in Burma is happening under the noses of the international community. These are not communal clashes; this is not equal sides fighting. These are organized attacks to cleanse of Muslims where the vast majority of those killed and displaced are Muslims.”
We urge the United Nations, European Union and ASEAN to put effective pressure on the Burmese regime to stop the killings and violence against Muslims in Burma, to restore peace and security in the region and to allow the international community and NGOs to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the victims.
As Burma is manifestly failing to protect its Muslim population, we also urge the international community to use the “responsibility to protect” or the duty to prevent mass atrocities. This responsibility now lies with the international community.
We call for pressure on the President Thein Sein’s government to ensure that displaced people can return to their original villages safely and freely. We call on the international community to pressure the Burmese government to stop anti-Muslim activities and racism in Burma. There should be laws on racism if the government wants to see durable peace in Burma.
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +447888714866.