ASIA/MYANMAR - NGOs to the government: "Protecting religious minorities from attacks by Buddhist nationalists"

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 religious minorities   buddhism   religious freedom   violence  


Yangon (Agenzia Fides) – Need to take urgent measures to protect the most vulnerable religious minorities in the country: is the appeal launched by a forum of eleven NGOs working for the protection of human rights in Myanmar, after the two recent violent attacks against Muslims by Buddhist groups. On July 1, a mosque was destroyed by a mob in Hpakant, a village in the state of Kachin. On June 23, a massive attack destroyed a mosque, a school and several houses in a village of Bago District, in the center of Myanmar.
The appeal of the NGO forum, sent to Fides, reads: "These attacks are the latest of an anti-Muslim hate campaign, led by Buddhist nationalist militants and has grown over the last four years: the campaign has included violent attacks , hate speech, and, at a political level, has resulted in the introduction of a discriminatory legislation restricting religious conversions and interfaith marriage".
Myanmar is living a new political season after that, with the vote in November 2015, the National League for Democracy (NLD) came to power. The League has promised to "eradicate hatred from society and protect minorities". NGOs, including "Christian Solidarity Worldwide" (CSW), invite the Burmese government "to ensure that the perpetrators of these attacks are brought to justice, and that the police can prevent further attacks". Then urged the institutions to ensure respect for freedom of religion or belief and to invite the new UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion to visit the country. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/07/2016)