Friday, June 28, 2013

Burma: Buddhist monks lead ethnic cleansing campaign against Muslims.

Buddhist monks are leading a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (Burma) according to a recently released report from Human Rights Watch.

The new report, issued April 22, claims that Buddhist monks, Burmese officials, and other community leaders are guilty of “crimes against humanity” in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State since June 2012.

The report notes that Buddhist monks and their supporters “organized and encouraged ethnic Arakanese backed by state security forces to conduct coordinated attacks on Muslim neighborhoods and villages in October 2012 to terrorize and forcibly relocate the population. The tens of thousands of displaced have been denied access to humanitarian aid and been unable to return home.”

Apparently confirming the allegations contained in the Human Rights Watch report,

video footage has recently emerged showing Burmese police standing by as Buddhist mobs wielding sticks and swords attacked Muslims in the southwest of the country, where last month more than 40 people were killed and 12,000 displaced. The footage shows Buddhist crowds looting and ransacking a Muslim shop, cheering when Muslims are attacked, and setting fire to mosques and houses.

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