Kyaukpyu’s Muslim Quarter Razed to the Ground

Some 800 homes belonging to Rohingya Muslims were burnt down in Pauktaw on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 (PHOTO: Thi Ha / Facebook)

Several hundred Rohingya people have fled their burning homes in Kyaukpyu Township and taken to the sea after deadly clashes on Tuesday night.

A local source told The Irrawaddy that the entire Muslim quarter—more than 300 houses belonging to the Rohingya community—was burned to the ground by Arakanese Buddhist [Rakhine] residents who were angry at reports that three local Rakhine men had been killed. An unknown number of Rohingyas were killed in Tuesday night’s violence. Eleven persons were reportedly admitted to hospital after rival groups clashed with machetes and other weapons.

The following day, 80 boats full of fleeing Rohingyas were spotted heading to open water. The source said that 54 boats departed from Kyaukpyu at 12:30 in the afternoon and another 26 boats left around 5 pm.

“There is no one left in the Muslim quarter,” he said. “They have all fled and were heading to Sittwe.”

Sittwe is the capital of Arakan State. The Rohingya boatpeople are thought to be seeking the shelter of a neighborhood in the city where security is overseen by state authorities.

A resident from Kyaukpyu Township told The Irrawaddy on Thursday morning that tensions were high in the town and that the army had been deployed.

Burma’s state-run media reported on Thursday that only 69 houses were burned down and 20 persons were wounded on Tuesday night, while on Wednesday morning one person was killed, eight were wounded and some 700 houses were torched.

The Burmese service of BBC radio reported on Wednesday that 20 Rohingyas and six Rakhine men had been killed in riots in Myebon Township. It said that some 200 Rohingya people from Myebon had been made homeless and had fled in fear to the mountainous jungle nearby.

The resurgence in sectarian violence follows incidents earlier this week in Minbyar Township where one Rakhine man and two Rohingya women were killed. The violence then spread to Mrauk-U Township.

Burma’s state-run media reported on Wednesday that just two people were killed—one Buddhist, one Muslim—in Minbyar and Mrauk-U townships while 1,039 local houses were destroyed.

Thousands of people from both sides of the ongoing conflict have abandoned their villages in fear of reprisals and are currently seeking shelter in other locations. Many Buddhist Arakanese are reportedly sheltering in Buddhist temples, according to a local source.

The Arakan State government has imposed a curfew in Minbyar and Mrauk-U following the unrest, which began on Sunday night.

Hundreds of Rakhine students protested in Sittwe on Wednesday, claiming that they were unable to study under the security conditions in the city.

Some 70,000 people are estimated to have become homeless since the sectarian violence ignited in June.

Meanwhile, Burma’s opposition party National League for Democracy on Thursday urged the Burmese government to take further security measures to stop the ongoing violence in Arakan State and re-establish peace and security in townships such as Kyaukpyu, Minbyar, Mrauk-U and Ann.

The 88 Generation Students group also released a statement calling on all people in Burma to work together to resolve this conflict, stressing that a solution must be based on democracy and human rights.

12 Responses to Kyaukpyu’s Muslim Quarter Razed to the Ground

  1. But local residents said that Muslim burnt their homes theirself to show the world that they are at risk and tortured by rakhine ethnic and to gain sympathy from Muslim world.

    • Then how come only the Rohingya homes (and all the Rohingya homes) are burned and the ground levelled flat? Ready for the “crony” building contractors to start “development”. The ones loudly “donating” to the Arakanese.

      Any responsible communities would stop the fire and help the people.

      Moral and management vacuum is insurmountable. Today’s Burma of western and UN glorification.

      Well done Thein Sein. Keep quiet, May May Phayar.

  2. Not surpsied by another terrorist act by the Rahkine/Bamar majority.

    When will people understand that its the Rohingya who are the victims?

    Decades of life in extreme poverty, constant human rights violations and racially motivated crimes of the Rakhine and Bamar. Still people think the Rohingya are actually the villians. Its so sad to see how successfull the Junta propaganda has been.

  3. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    I think there is complete bias in the usage of pictures in favor of Bengali in the Irrawaddy news coverage on communal riots in Rakhine State. I can’t go unnoticed from my attention after having profound observation since day one of Irrawaddy coverage on communal riots. If any of the readers pay enough attention on the pictures of any news on communal riots coverage in Irrawaddy, none of you would escape to find out that the pictures used in the news shows how aggressive the Rakhine are, and how innocent the Bengali are; Am I missing something? 

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  4. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    Irrawaddy, other Burmese exile news agencies along with foreign Medias are jumping again at this chance to prove this accident of arson as its politically correct bona fides. No news agencies will try to help finding the solution, but to take advantage of it for their publication promotion.  Buddhist is a popular word in quoting of instigators, especially, when it comes to blame for the violence while Bengali are quoted as harmless and normally the victim of the crisis, running for their lives. 

    No blaming and shaming, including my comment will help to the deteriorating situation of the nature of the communal riots. Burmese Government has to be very assertive in restoring stability in this rival community. The restrain order and separation of tow rival communities is a must in securing saving its citizens and aliens. Indecisiveness of the government of Burma is a major barrier to stop this communal violent retaliation. It is time to make up its mind for the Burmese government as to which category of residency of Burma belongs to Bengali.  

     For me, as an ordinary Burmese, majority of Bengali who do not even speak any of Burmese ethnic languages, are illegal immigrants that have to be defined their residency status in Burma. Time is up, no more, enough is enough. Don’t be impaired by tolerance in protecting Burmese citizens for their own safety within their own land. It is time for a designated safe area for illegal Bengali as suggested by president U Thein Sein. This is the only option left to have an effective restrain to prevent further communal violence. No matter who initiated the arson; as it has come to surface, Burmese citizens are subject to be blamed again as envisaged by these illegal Bengali for their own advantage. Sick and tired of being a punch bag of senseless people for our own generosity of giving a refuge within our society to these nonsense illegal Bengali!  Time for the designated safe area for them or the cycle of violence won’t end at all.

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  5. Thein Sein is Responsible and also Suu Kyi Ari
    as the saying goes:
    The cry of oppressed:
    not seen ,heard and spoken about,
    by the two irresponsible Clown.
    Clowning For Noble Peace Prize!

  6. *Awaits the herd yelling, “The Muslims did it themselves!!”*

    •  Tell me ” Will you burn your own house for nothing? ”
      Those Rakhine people did it cuz they want Lands…
      They did like this not only to Muslims but also to Burmese..

  7. The solution to this unrelenting strife is pretty simple. All the Rohingyas (or Bengalis or Kalars; it does not matter what you call them, they are human beigns after all) were lawful citizens of Myanmar beofre 1982. There are official records of all citizens of the Union. Based on those records, Myanmar Govet. should issue citizenship cards to the Rohingyas and let them be integrated into the main fabric of the Myanmar society. That’s all! The kind of killing that is taking place today in Rakhine State with the aim of wiping out the Rohingays/Bengalis/Kalars will lead to nowhere, except more bad publicity for Myanmar in the international arena, and hamper its emerging out of its darker days. Wake up Myanmar, wake up! Wake up to the millenium of EQUAL RIGHTS, EQUAL JUSTICE, AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL HUMAN BEINGS, REGARDLESS OF COLOR, CREED AND TONGUE, just like the US and EU. If you do this, you will lead the world! And win a Noble Peace Prize in 2013!

  8. It will end when the last” burmese freedom fighters” pull the trigger on each other at the command of the military junta. Only and only then, will burma be “ethnically pure”. Welcome to burma the next Khymer Rogue. (that is you are “welcome” only if you can prove you are “ethnically pure burmese”.

  9. I have seen that most information about Arakan unrest is mainly biased at the side of Bengali so-called Rohingya and all the views of the Irrawaddy is only one side views. As an independent news agency should be fair and should stand between the line of two sides. Inform the information to the world is good but should be real and fair.  


  10. The US Marine and The Naval Fleet
    in The Indian Ocean or
    Bay of Bengal are waiting
    to Land at The Command
    of The President of America.
    The THREE HUNDRED Cowards are responsible for this Carnage
    that lynched and killed TEN muslim traveling by bus in Arakan
    who were from Rangoon and Myaung Mya.
    Heaven Witnessed The Slaughter!
    Heaven Has Given Respite! 

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