Rioters Renew Violence in Burma’s Arakan State

A house burns in the background as a man carries makeshift weapons during communal clashes in Arakan State last year in June. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Rioters torched two houses in a coastal town in Burma’s Arakan State in the latest violence between Buddhists and minority Muslims, a government spokesman said, but a resident said security forces had restored order on Monday.

At least 237 people have been killed in Burma in religious violence over the past year and about 150,000 people have been displaced. Most of the victims were Muslim and the most deadly incidents happened in Arakan State, where about 800,000 Rohingya Muslims live, according to the United Nations.

In the latest flare-up, about 50 people gathered outside a police station in Thandwe on the west coast on Sunday after hearing a woman had been raped by “a man of another religion,” government spokesman Ye Htut said on his Facebook page.

While the Thandwe riot was relatively minor, similar incidents in the past have led to larger and more deadly confrontations.

The rioters set two homes on fire at about 7 pm after police asked the crowd to disperse.

“The Burma police force is working to reveal the offenders and take action according to the law,” Ye Htut said.

Three Muslims were injured in the fire, Ye Oo, a police deputy corporal in Thandwe, told Reuters by telephone.

Ye Htut said police had blocked roads into and out of the town, which has the closest airport to Ngapali beach, one of Burma’s most popular beaches for tourists.

The United Nations said 140,000 people remain displaced in the state after clashes in June and October last year.

Two displaced people were killed and six wounded on June 27 when security forces used gunfire to disperse a crowd that had gathered at a military base in Kyein Ni Pyin, a camp for displaced persons in the Pauktaw area of Rakhine State.

Muslims make up about 5 percent of the 60 million people in Buddhist-majority Burma.

4 Responses to Rioters Renew Violence in Burma’s Arakan State

  1. Government spoke person Ye Htut covering up the reality. It was not rape case at all, Just for face saving talking nonsense. If it is rape case why not take the girl to Thandwe district hospital and test the result and also show international community how it was test. They are bias and never ever tell the truth. The Muslims boy and the girl had quarrel for the passenger recruiting at High way car gate in Thandwe. How can the boy made rape in broad day light.

    This is pre plan want to create riot in Thandwe between Muslims and Buddhists. The plan is drawn by Arakan Nationlaiities Party ( RNDP ) for whole of Arakan. As Thandwe was not effected the violence same as Sittwe and other parts of Arakan, RNDP wants to make in Thandwe also to divide the society.

    All criminal should take action under criminal laws irrespective of cast and creed. Why should government allow to make violence in any part of Burma ( Myanmar )? The government has 400,000 soldiers to save the lives of human beings in Burma.

    In recent Asean Foreign Minister Meeting at Brunei, Myanmar Dy.Foreign Minister said is totally lies, just covering and favouring their Buddhists Arakanese.

  2. Not very creative but evil and planned – hah?

  3. Ye Thut Myanmar Dy.Foreign Minister is very b ad informed, just get to Thandwe and every one will tell you Buddhist\, Muslims or Christians who – which big Businessman in Thandwe switched the story, a man which went unlucky with two political parties already and prepares for the new religious party , change the 969 into a new logo and run from there again if it is all constitutional as the constitution seperates very clear religion from politics.Army did a good job in Thandwe also the night on 30.6. already otherwise a big crowed of well known one siders from Myabin, Keytaw and Lonthar village including a teacher and a famose Monk were on the way to burn Thandwe in the night of 30.6. but stopped by the 55 regiment -othertweise

  4. ( Oo Maung Gyi Monday, July 1, 2013 – 2:43 pm )

    You not satisfied about what government did on this case , why don’t you go and check yourself over there ? You not like to stay or live in Myanmar why don’t you go somewhere you can stay as you wish ? If you not want to be Myanmar , you can always get the hell out of our country , and please change you Myanmar name . Otherwise , please keep quiet and help whatever if you want to really want to give hand . Don’t be traitor to country . Learn to live as good citizen.

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