Burma Sets Curfews to Curb Spread of Violence

A monk offers some food to a Muslim man at a temporary camp for internally displaced persons in Meikhtila last week. (Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy )

A monk offers some food to a Muslim man at a temporary camp for internally displaced persons in Meikhtila last week. (Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy )

RANGOON — Authorities in Burma imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in three townships after anti-Muslim religious violence touched new parts of the country, edging closer to the main city of Rangoon.

State television Tuesday reported incidents in the three townships in Pegu Division, all within 150 km of Rangoon. The latest attack Monday night was in Gyobingauk, where it said “troublemakers” damaged a religious building, shops and some houses.

The report said similar attacks on religious buildings, shops and houses occurred in nearby Otepho and Min Hla on Sunday night. Official reports use the term “religious buildings” in an apparent attempt to dampen passion, though in most cases the targets were reportedly mosques.

The announcement said an emergency law known as Section 144 would be applied in the three townships which will ban public assemblies, marches and speeches, and impose a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

The religious unrest began with rioting a week ago in the central city of Meikhtila that was sparked by a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and his Buddhist customers.

The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said Tuesday that eight more bodies were found in Meikhtila as soldiers cleared devastated areas set ablaze by anti-Muslim mobs during three days of rioting, bringing the death toll to 40. State TV said Tuesday that although calm had been restored in Meikhtila, a 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew has been imposed to prevent any new violence.

Amid fears of spreading violence, shop owners in Rangoon, about 550 km south of Meikhtila, were told to close Monday evening by 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m.

The fears appeared unfounded, but most Yangon shops were closed Tuesday for a national holiday.

The upsurge in sectarian unrest casts a shadow over President Thein Sein’s administration as it struggles to make democratic changes after a half-century of military rule. Hundreds of people were killed last year and more than 100,000 made homeless in sectarian violence in western Burma between ethnic Arakan Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas.

6 Responses to Burma Sets Curfews to Curb Spread of Violence

  1. The buddhist as usual are peace loving peoples but pig looks buddhist terrorist of Burma cause pain to muslims by each passing year..those buddhist extremist should either be killed or punished by burmese peoples or by world peoples..

  2. Thar… Du, Thar … Du. I will leave one more time until in the far distant future.

  3. What a shame? Burmese buddist,monks have become murderers, looters and rapist. Burma will be known as racist Nation of Asia. Sooner of later Muslims countries will retaliate for sure. Every action has a reaction. God is great.

  4. George Than Setkyar Heine

    Hey, the ANTI- MUSLIM RIOTS in Burma are NOT THE WORK of Burmese Buddhists guys I say.
    Thein Sein KNOWS the ANSWER to the PUZZLE – WHO DONE IT – of course.
    Look at the Buddhist monks OFFERING FOOD to the Burmese MUSLIMS!
    Guys in YELLOW SAFFRON ROBES specifically WIELDING FOOT LONG KNIVES as well are NO MORE BUDDHIST MONKS than MONKEYS in Than Shwe’s ZOO at the Naypyidaw folks.
    They are THUGS/HOODLUMS (most possibly SWAN AH SHIN) members of the POCKET ARMY of the pseudo-civilian rulers in Naypyidaw akin to Hitler’s SS troops during the reign of the NAZIS in prewar Germany for a fact.
    The fact that many MUSLIMS are PROTECTED and HIDDEN by the Buddhists from the RIOTERS PROVED the COMMUNAL RIOTS in Burma today are CRAFTED and ENGINEERED by no less than Naypyidaw, any bets?
    The POLICE TURNING a BLIND EYE while the RIOTERS in Saffron robes wielding long knives among other weapons and civilian clothed hoods are RUNNING AMOK/WILD in the towns certainly PROVED the FACT – rioters are government sponsored goons no doubt.
    Ask the police, if you don’t believe me.
    The CURFEW is only a ROUTINE in these cases of course.
    Thus, Min Aung Hlaing has HINTED the SCENARIO and FACT: The BURMA ARMY is INDISPENSABLE for BURMA, politically, economically and socially as well.
    Simply put: The BURMA ARMY RUNS the SHOW in BURMA lest you guys forget!

  5. No matter who you are where you from all human are living in this world and if respect, love & care each other not such thing to conflict what so ever like buddish is the way of peace and Christian is the way of forgiving and Islam as well the way of loving as well.
    Do not abuse religion what you believed.

  6. Indeed George – it reeks of Swan Arr Shin tactics. The same useless low-lifes that were rounded up and persuaded to attack protesters and monks for a greater cause are now being used to attack Muslims… for a greater cause. The greater cause? A re-militarised Burma. Or at least unstable enough for the old general and cronies to bleed the country dry a bit longer, without interference from pesky democracy and human rights

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