Riot Claims Three Lives in Arakan State

Muslim leaders talk to protesters near Sule Pagoda in Rangoon on June 5. (Photo: Reuters)

Muslim leaders talk to protesters near Sule Pagoda in Rangoon on June 5. (Photo: Reuters)

Riot police exchanged gunfire with an Islamic mob in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, on Friday afternoon after three people were reportedly killed in religious clashes.

Fourteen villages in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships were torched by rioters while authorities struggled to maintain control, according to the Facebook social networking page of a President Office’s official.

“The security forces have been trying to protect the 14 villages which burned,” said the Facebook post.

Residents from two of the villages confirmed to The Irrawaddy that nearby houses had been torched. “Residents worry about the security as there is no protection for the public at the moment,” said a Maungdaw resident.

The riot apparently broke out as worshippers were returning from Friday prayers at the Shwezar mosque around lunchtime and began throwing stones at banks and government buildings.

Five primary schools and a number of Arakanese-owned buildings were burnt down by rioters, reported The Voice Weekly journal. Burmese troops have been deployed to the area, and there have been rumors that martial law might be imposed.

An ethnic Arakanese man was reportedly slashed by a knife after he ran from his burning home.

“People are afraid of being in their homes and all, mostly children and women, have come to gather at the monastery,” said a local Buddhist monk.

Local police reportedly avoided confronting the Muslim crowd at the beginning of the trouble and then the situation quickly escalated and the riot ensued.

Witnesses say three people including a doctor and his wife have been killed so far and more than 10 villagers were wounded.

Tensions have flared in Arakan State since 10 Muslims were killed by an angry mob on Sunday. The slayings were apparent retribution after an Arakanese woman was raped and murdered, allegedly by three Muslim men, days earlier.

Meanwhile, the President’s Office called a meeting late on Friday to discuss the unrest. Ninety-six percent of Maungdaw Township is registered as Muslim despite only making up four percent of the national population, according to official data.

35 Responses to Riot Claims Three Lives in Arakan State

  1. As I hoped that it never happend, when I wrote last week about the very bad and miss leading way of article in the Irrawaddy Magazine same as DVB. While mixing religious issues with pure criminal issues
    is never fair and shows very poor understanding of Democratical mind and media diplomacy.
    You as well DVB are not democrats, you might be just oppositionists .
    I was happy today that a very well informed blogg writer pointed that out as well.
    I am sure you can do better than what you did in the last weeks report on the bad rape case of the poor girl. Your Irrawaddy and as well DVB way of report must take also responsibility in the deaths and
    riots now happening in Myanmar,- some time censor is better than a to free and media without diplomacy…

  2. That is how Muslim in Rakhine intimidated native Rakhines for decades. Ethnic Rakhine are afraid to live near violent Bangladeshi descendants foreigners and migrated to safer south, running away from their native lands giving up real estates to muslim invaders so callled Rohingyas.

    If government does not take action, there wouldl be no more Rakhine in 100 years. Buddha Stupas and Rakhine cultures would be destroyed.

  3. Leading to a communal riot is bad. Authority shall implement rule of law base on democratic principles. If use marshall law it is unjust.

    10 Inocent muslims were killed by Rakhine at Taunggup Township and now it is leading to a communinal riot spreading to many other township in Arakan.

    Authority should take care not to spread other parts of Burma. As such situation opportunists and undersirable elements will take benefits from the situation. Politician, religious leaders and regional authorities should arrange dialogues within the community.

  4. This is an act of terrorism.

  5. UN and America we need ur help

    Save Rakhine

  6. Where is the word Rohingya now?

  7. Good that finally a ” Government ” ( President Thein Sein ) takes care in Rakhine – after the Rakhine Government of Dr Aye Maung or the Taunguk Government of Dr San Hlaing or, as at present in Singapore Dr Zaw Aye Maung in charge for Rakhine at Yangon Office not only totally failed to protect innocent Myanmar citizen from slaughter by Buddhist Taunguk people,- they even were not and would not come back from foreign trip in such emmergency situation.
    Good that President Thein Sein at least cancelled his Thailand trip for the security and safety of the Union of Myanmar.— Great for so many children, students and women of Rakhine State what ever of the many ethnic races or religions they are , – great that President Thein Sein finally ordered the Marshal Law over the northern Rakhine.
    Thandwe people – christians , buddhists and muslims are very different they live in peace and respect – that is why Thandwe develops positive….

  8. Last riots in years ago in Rakhine, according to wikipedia, although Rakhine is the majority in the region, 50000 Rakhine ethnics were killed while 20000 Bengalis were killed. Those invaders are skilled in killing and rioting much more than ethnic Rakhines. BBC, DVB and other burmese langauge news agencies still favor the invaders and keep mentioning them as poor side of riots. How shall we believe if you all still favors the killers? If you don’t know how to feel on behalf of Rakhines, just visit the area and you will know provided you are not killed by Invaders’ mob.

  9. These muslim came to Burma illegally. They are not ethnic minority group.

    • according to you, *when* did thet come to burma and *why*? please specify.

    • So says the Propagandists. If Rohingya Muslims who came to Rakhain State in 10th to 12th century are illegal, then so as most of ethnic minorities in South-eastern Bangladesh! The Rohingyas lived there for centuries…like Rakhayns in Cox’s Bazar District of Bangladesh.

      If ur hate statements are any true and if Riot and killing (as opposed to assimilation and democratic integration) are to be the tools of settling the problem then Biddha’s “Ahingsa” and Jesus’s “Love” will not have any meaning.

      May Allah grant reasons amongst us all.

  10. “ Because the persecuting majority is vile, says the liberal, therefore the persecuted minority must be stainlessly pure…What’s to prevent the bad from being persecuted by the worse? Did all the Muslim victims on the arena have to be saints?

    A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority – not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities – because all minorities are in competition; each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest. And the more they all hate, and the more they’re all persecuted, the nastier they become! Do you think it makes people nasty to be loved? You know it doesn’t!

    Then why should it make them nice to be loathed? While you’re being persecuted, you hate what’s happening to you, you hate the people who are making it happen; you’re in a world of hate. Why, you wouldn’t recognize love if you met it! You’d suspect love! You’d think there was something behind it—some motive—some trick.”

  11. It is extremely sorrow situation in Maungdaw of Arakan State, Burma. Many Muslims villages are burnt down and Muslims people were killed. Muslims are specifically imposed to stay at home while Rakhines Buddhist are freely allowed to move around and let to kill Muslims and burn houses and viallages.

    Where is law and order? Since all polices are of Rakhines and Burman there is no authority to protect Muslims in the area. The current situation is worst than ever since 1942 when nearly 100,000 Muslims were massacred in Arakan. International communities are urgently requested to protect poor Muslims people in Arakan.

    • This is how you kalars convert the real facts.. Everyone now knows that Rakhine villages are burnt by kalars and Rakhine people are killed by kalars yet you still want to make up stories….If what you are making up as abov were true, you should accept it as your Allah creates everything, remember???? So, take it as your Allah’s creation or do not make up story for the real facts.

  12. Rakine people shouldn’t started this by killing 10incocents people, then this kind of situation will never happen.

    • Do you really know the start of the problem???. I assume you don’t know it all. One Rakhine woman was rapped, chopped and robbed before what you said Rakhine peole kill the innocet people.. So, try to understand the real facts and then post comment.

      • have u ever heard of law?see that how the problem started because you don’t want to act like human being instead trying to behave like animal.

      • brother, in this spying base political world you should know first that any other group who does not want peace between them may cause the rape, because this is a common practice today in the politics called divide and rules theory. so you should investigate the truth first then peace can come.

  13. Tin Win,
    You are reverting the story… Bangali Kalars burnts all the rakhine villages and killed rakhine people…No wonder you kalars are making up all sort of story….

  14. DVB = Democratic Voice OF Binga’lee

  15. Why is Irrawaddy painting this as a religious clash. I understand Irrawaddy is acting in the interest of Human Rights of Bangalis but I urge you to report the truth.

  16. To Editor of Irrawaddy,

    I was mad/amazed to read the article @ irrawaddy that seems to be promoting the Rohingar as one of the minority of Burma. I had read a few similar article in last few year. They are never be the one of the minority of Burma in my opinion.

    Now, at the very sensitive time, i had read the similar article yesterday night but today, you guys changed the some sentence especially using the word of Rohingar at above article at your own right. What happened to RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM Irrawaddy!!

  17. Govt shud have rigid rules for migrant

  18. personally i don’t like musilm as a religion. i dislike it.
    but 1 women was raped and murdered by 3 musilsms and why should we accept the killing of 10 musilsms. these are crimes. government have responsibility to solve it fairly and lawfully.
    i don’t care they are immigrants or citizens they are humans as we are and
    our people are also living and staying at many countries do we like our people to be killed and discriminated there?
    if we go with this idea, we have to kill all burmese because their soldiers raped shan women.

  19. Sad news that lives lost in Rakhine State.We all know that Rakhine State is racial hot spot.State security
    apparatus needs to be alert and ready for any situations.Civil Society organizations must take active interest
    for the welfare of all racial groups.Majority Rakhine people need to accept the fact that the racial demograph
    Is changing.The minority racial group also must understand that they need to coexist with the majority Rakhines.
    It is extremely important to know that at ground zero the two racial groups cannot live to mutual exclusion.We
    all must refrain using sensitive expressions like “kalars,klahtains etc etc “”even more so by the State media.
    If we made mistakes,we must be ready to apologize.Cultured societies will not hesitate to say “sorry” if a mistake is made.Let all of us entertain mutual respect towards each other! ! !

  20. What is the root cause? Why did the government fail to take care of its job? If the rapists/ murderers were arrested and charged with criminal case, this will never happen. So, this is the sign of Thein Sein government’s uselessness.

  21. facts: rakhine people hate both bamar and muslims. since rakhiners can’t fight bamar they abreact their frustrations on muslims, widely considered subhumans in fascist myanmar. i’m not suppporting muslims, nor am i taking position in this ongoing fight since it’s a waste. the only thing i know is that this type of instability is an important factor why burma has been and still is a dictatorship. if people would have united against the real mutual enemy, being the fascist junta (taking the piss with ALL religions and nationalities!!) the army would have been kicked out 50 years ago. *ALL* you people have been ruled, taunted, abused by the one and only REAL MINORITY being the the army, and u have NOT managed to kick them out because of disunity.

  22. I hope that Myanmar as soon as possible peace.People away from hatred.

  23. Why you don’t use the word “Rohingya” Irrawaddy?
    Why are you afraid now?

  24. Please send message to current Myanmar government stop all this and dramar ,PLEASE WRITE STONGLY LETTER TO CURRENT MYANMAR GOVERNMENT
    Myanmar public is not killing any muslim man ,current government is killing muslim ,they want to make racial riots and stay on power 10more years.

    General THAN SHWE STILL IN POWER ,HE is order and his country side milatry TO DO ALL THIS

  25. It is not right to say Muslim Arakan since Arakan is an ethnic group native to the state. They should be called Rohinja only and no Muslim is needed to be mentioned. The native Arakans and the Rohinja fights sometimes because they are very different people and it has nothing to do with religion as far as the current situation is concerned. It all started with a rape case and the detail of the rape should be lined out while the unlawful retaliation should be emphasized. No inhumane abuse of women of any kind should be tolerated and no injustice should be allowed to go on or the conflict would be prolonged. News reporting should not be a source of conflict by omitting unnecessary and unneeded prefixes and suffixes. Then, we will be peace-makers rather than peace-breakers.

  26. Both Rakhines and Rohingya are hot-tempered, I supposed. They should have let the law settle the issue in the first place. This case is the lesson that they are learning with excruciating pain now. I hope Buddha and Allah will calm their minds and teach them to forgive but not forget to learn the important lesson in life–justice, rule of law, kindness, forgiveness, do to others as one wants to be done to self. Life is short and we should be cool-headed life most Thais.

  27. What is going on in Arakan state (which is occupied by Burma) is clear violence against innocent muslims known as rohinga. it is state terrorism by Myanmar govt supported by communal Buddhist. It is not only crime against Muslim but it is crime against humanity.

  28. plz help them to survive in this state of massacre ,plz ensure actual human rights and peace in the world,history would not forgive you, history does not forgive anyone.

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