Current News

Series of clashes again in southern Arakan

Members of a Muslim
family react to the loss of a relative who died in the recent spate of violence
in Thapyu Kyain village, outside of Thandwe. (Photo: Reuters / Soe Zeya Tun)
By Fayas 
KPN News 
October 10, 2013
In the background
of recent violence (0n October 1, 2) in Sandoway Town, Arakan (Rakhine) State,
the continuous persecution of Kamans has made news again. Unfortunately, it is
becoming all-to-familiar a tale. This time, majority Buddhist community showed
their wrath over a news item that a Muslim shopkeeper had verbally abused a
Buddhist taxi driver as he was trying to park outside his shop. People point
out, how deeply rooted communal tensions are and the increasing likelihood
small brawls turning into bloody riots.
In recent violence
in Sandoway Township, even as the President Thein  Sein came to western Burma’ to urge and end
to sectarian violence, security forces—police and military— could not
prevent  Buddhist mobs from torching the
homes of Kaman Muslims or hacking them to death, They also encouraged the
Rakhine mobs.  In these communal clashes,
three Muslim villages—Thabyu Chaung, Pauktaw and Thapu Kyain— had been
attacked by Rakhine mobs, five Muslims were killed including a 94-year-old
woman, over 144 houses were burnt down into ashes, three mosques were
abolished, and over 500 people became homeless. On October 1, authorities had
plenty of opportunities to prevent series of attacks, in Sandoway, each more
brutal than the next, but did nothing.
It is a pre-planned
action against the Kaman Muslims as all the houses of Buddhist were floating
religious flags in front of their houses because of distinguishing the houses
of Muslims from Buddhists so that the mobs could easily find the Muslim houses
to put on fire as the Muslims and Buddhists are living side by side in the
village.
On October 5,
again, a communal clash was occurred between Burmese Muslims and Buddhist at
Kyaung Gone town, 50 Km north-west of Rangoon, at about mid-night over the allegation
that a 14-year old Buddhist girl was raped by a Muslim man. Five houses owned
by Muslims were destroyed or burnt down by Buddhist mobs. But, no people were
injured.  It is very surprise to me that
how the Muslim man tried to rape a Buddhist girl with this political
circumstance. May be, it is really created by authority or some other people to
blame the Muslims and want to create problem between Buddhists and Muslims.
 
It is necessary to
go deeper into the reasons why communal conflicts have been frequently taking
place. Hate speech must be controlled. The government must take urgent action,
to end all forms of persecutions and violence against the Rohingyas, Kamans and
Burmese Muslims. Float
In the diplomatic
front, the UN and OIC along with leading countries like China, USA, UK, and
France have to take a diplomatic approach to the Burmese Government with the
help of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate to encourage the Citizenship
of Rohingyas in Burma.
It is hoped that
the Burmese Government will amend the 2008 constitution to remove the inherent
role of military in politics and bad laws like Citizenships law of 1982.  People believe that some positive outcome of
the constitution review committee will be forthcoming to solve the problems.
Hopefully, the election in 2015 will be free and fair for the people of Burma
to get a real democracy. As long as the military plays a role in the politics
of Burma, it may be difficult for ethnic groups to live in peace and for
Rohingyas to get Citizenships in their homeland.