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Myanmar: Buddhist NGO slams violence against Muslims in Myanmar

31st Aug 2017
Myanmar: Buddhist NGO slams violence against Muslims in Myanmar

By Adem Salvarcioglu and Mahmut Atanur

 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – A Japan-based Buddhist NGO has reacted to the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, saying ongoing attacks “are not acceptable for any religion”.

“As a Buddhist, I cannot accept the violence against Rakhine Muslims. It is not acceptable for any religion,” Suhadi Sendjaja, chairman of Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia (NSI) told Anadolu Agency.

Sendjaja urged the Myanmar government to solve the problems in the restive Rakhine region and added:

“There is no doubt that the treatment [of] Rakhine Muslims is contrary to human rights, so, the social and political motives behind these incidents must be determined to find solutions.

“Ethnic and religious differences should be tolerated…The events in Rakhine should be solved professionally within the frame of human rights.”

“Which religion orders killing?” he asked and added that “all religions represent peace”.

“Terrorism has become a big problem in the world. We cannot describe as ‘bad’ the religion of groups carrying out terrorist activities. What is ‘bad’ is not the religion, but these people. So, you cannot call all the people of that religion ‘terrorist’,” Sendjaja said.

“It’s the same in Rakhine. If some groups attacked the security forces, it is not acceptable to accuse all the Rakhine Muslims and torture them.”

Deadly attacks on border posts in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state broke out on Friday. Later, media reports emerged saying Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya villagers, destroying homes with mortars and machine guns.

The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

A security clampdown launched in October last year in Maungdaw, where Rohingya form the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.

The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings — including that of babies and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during the operation.

[ An infographic with the title “Timing of attacks and violence in Myanmar ‘suspect’,” created on August 30, 2017 in Ankara, Turkey. Attacks on outposts in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state and killings of Rohingya Muslims occurred at a suspect time.
Arakan attack Burma chart graphic info mass murder massacre Myanmar Rakhine state violence. By Murat Usubaliev/AA]

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