Suu Kyi Calls for Rule of Law, Compassion to End Religious Tensions


Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to a group of Muslim men following her press conference on Wednesday. (Photo: Hpyo Wai Tha / The Irrawaddy)

Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to a group of Muslim men following her press conference on Wednesday. (Photo: Hpyo Wai Tha / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — In the wake of recent anti-Muslim violence in northwestern Burma and a downtown protest organized by some Muslims in Rangoon yesterday, the country’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi today urged the people to settle the problem in accordance with the law and not to lash out in anger.

“If some legal actions had been taken right away, there would have been no such violence,” said she at a press conference at her party’s headquarters in Rangoon, referring to the case of an ethnic Arakanese woman who was raped and murdered last month, allegedly by three Muslim men, that sparked a Sunday bus attack that killed 10 Muslims in Arakan State bordering Bangladesh.

“If the authorities concerned hurry to settle the problem, everything will be under control. If not, it will surely get worse,” she warned.

Suu Kyi also appealed to Burmese to show tolerance toward religious and other minorities.

“The majority need to have mercy on the minority. The majority have to be more compassionate and have more understanding. Don’t lose your temper,” she said, adding that “some people won’t agree with me saying so.”

Eighty-nine percent of Burma’s 60 million people are Buddhists; only four percent are Muslims.

As she made her way out of her party’s headquarters after the press conference, Suu Kyi was greeted by three Muslim men from Burma Moulvi Headquarters dressed in religious attire.

“Mother, please take some action for us. We are worried that the violence will be repeated,” said one of the men.

“Our fellows were killed. They were not insurgents. They were religious men,” said another.

“You can punish the rapist, whether he is a Buddhist or Muslim,” said the third.

Trying to calm the men, Suu Kyi said she would do her best for everyone’s security, even though she had no authority to take action. “I want Burma to be a country where people from every race and religion feels secure,” she said.

One of the men, Mohammad Hasan, said half of his worries vanished after meeting with Suu Kyi, and that he was hopeful she could do something to settle things down.

“She is the one we all love. She is also an internationally respected person. She might have some way to help us,” he said.

13 Responses to Suu Kyi Calls for Rule of Law, Compassion to End Religious Tensions

  1. Amazing. For our future Burma where everyone can strive regardless of differences. This is the way it should be.

  2. why problems and diseses in Burma stacking layers by layers and no treament!!!!

  3. They are not look like Myanmar Muslin. They are original from Bangladesh, see their faces.we should send them to British because British rulers brought them into Arakan state as the labours.

    We, Arakansese have Ethnic Kaman Muslim so we don’t have any extra Muslim In our Arakan state.If you love Bangli Muslim so called Rohingya , You call them into your own land.For they were coming without invitation to Arakan, they must leave for their mother land without saying get out.

    We Arakanes are the needed peaces in Arakan state because we are Buddhist. we had eventually events between Arakan and so call Rohangya Muslim or Bangli Muslim. many Burmese politicians ignored them including ex-president U NU,presently E.B.U leader, Han Nyaung Shwe are changing their name from Bangali Muslim to Rohingya.

    Killig and brutal attacks in Rakhine state by Muslim fundamentalist is not new. 40,000 Rakhine, including deputy commisioner U kyaw khing, were killed by the extremist attacks after British left Burma in 1948. At the same time The Mujahid guerillas burned 200 villages and raped 1,023 Rakhine women in Bothitaung and Mongdaw of Arakan.

    If we accept them, we will be a Muslim country in the world soon.

  4. This religious group problems always come once the country is leading
    under NLD or other kind of politician group.
    According to our experience, it happened when people were concentrating on group of on new improvements or leader, then the other group of dirty politicians would create stories of one man from muslim or burmese raped a woman of different religion.
    That is the only way to draw the attractions from people of Burma, so that they would be in fear and just wish the Army government to manage the country. This is a real dirty Technic always been used in the History of Myanmar.
    So people, you fight among yourself, the Junta will take care of you. Dont ever dream of developing your country!
    So sad stories.

  5. Ms Suu Kyi also appealed to Burmese to show tolerance toward religious and other minorities.Rule of Law, Compassion to End Religious Tensions.“The majority need to have mercy on the minority. The majority have to be more compassionate and have more understanding. Don’t lose your temper,”
    Ms Suu Kyi has indeed started off with passion for the most entrenced problem in Burma for several decades.
    The ball is now with the Generals and the Burmese people who truly have the interest of Burma in their hearts,Ms Suu Kyi has spoken,now watch out for those people who can sing very beautiful tunes but their hearts are black.
    Blessing to the people of Burma.

  6. I think “The Irrawaddy” is a political news site rather than a real news provider. All the things are about politics and all are somewhat negative in nature when speaking about people and places. It is ok to criticize but with intention of optimism and Benefits for the nation. I can feel the emotions of the writers when i read the articles and this is I must say is still very biased to negative news presentation.

  7. When it comes to faith people are sensitive, however we have to be wise to choose our action. I believe the words of Aung San Suu Kyi is right to have compassion over minority. Religion is a tough subject to debate, people can upset easily by debating religion. Ask yourself a question, why do you believe in what you believe? Is it because you choose to believe or is it because you were born into it and your family groom you to grow up that way? Some part of our life do not have a choice but to grow up how our parent want us to grow up in, it doesn’t matter what religion you are in. Hatread will make pain grow bigger, it won’t heal it. It is a test of time for Burmese and Aakanese soiety. Hatread will create more pain and suffering for both Buddhist and Muslim society. The men who commited crime are not the follower of the religion but criminals. No religion preach to commit such crime. Criminal action should be judge by criminal court, not by religion hatread. Remember one thing, before Buddhism was brought in to Burma, What are we?

  8. What Suu Kyi as a popular leader said is balanced … but does she know everything about who those killed on vehicles were? One report by an onlooker says these people who were killed by mob carried large sums of money meant for silencing the judges and the process of law. Innocent looking mollahs may carry daggers inside their cloaks … or even under the islamic veils, who knows? Apparently these mollahs are products of the mosque near Sule, a mosque known for its connection with Bengali Muslim fundamentalist organizations in Pakistan and Bangladesh, that have clandestine link with muslim extremist militants worldwide.

    the point is the muslims or any other religious groups in Burma needs to prove that they really need peace, and a lasting peace at that. People of Burma are not fundamentalists, as I know when I grew up inside the country, but with increase in Islamic fundamentalism with clear connection with pakistan (through east pakistan, of course, secessionist forces with extreme islamic fundamentalism raised a struggle with a fictitious invented name, who again and again preached jihad inside burma to drive away and finish off Kaafirs.

  9. To Mr.Pru Mong and his gang!

    Please bear in mind that all Muslims in Myanmar love peace and never go into Jihad unless they are being pressure to do so.
    So who will give them the pressure?
    The answer is the person like you and the gang always looking for faults and mistakes on Muslims those are the minority group who always putting their head down under the majority.and always welcome friendship, love and peace from the other religions.
    Have you ever seen the Muslims taking part in Jihad in Myanmar although the Mosques , the religious school, the Quran and many of their properties were destroyed by the mob who named themselves as a good citizens , all in the Burmese History? So , pls, don’t be ridicule and accused the Myanmar Muslims as the extremists and it can provoke them to go for it. Then you may see fire, deaths and children running around in the the country for their dead parents and the country will be going back to world war II. Means you are inviting either English or other colony to manage our country. So don’t use the above accusations without thinking from your heart and the peoples’.None of Myanmar like wars and extremists but there may be some black sheep among white to take the advantage of it.So be a good citizen to look things fairly.

  10. she should said something about that , current goverment is dirty to do all this , myanmar people all media should send message on the blog all this thing is happening now done by current goverment .they still want to saty in power , they done before recial issue now also they doing same .

  11. A crime led to revenge.

    Revenge sparked a religious conflict in Rakhine State.
    Some media portrayals of the conflict fuelled the angers of unwise people.

    Military government has now taken control of Rakine State.

    They will now have a chance to control over other states and divisions if the conflict spread across the country.

    Who are the Winners: Corrupted military generals who never want to reform in the first place
    Who are the Losers: (We) general public

    Too many monks and people had already been scarified their lives in this long hard process to democracy. Do we want to go back to square one?

    DO NOT waste the opportunity we are waiting so long to change our country. We’ve just felt a glimpse of hope for the first time ONLY two months ago.

    There are awful loads of work to do to become a true democracy country. Be mindful of how we prioritize our energy. Set your goal on the first prize. We don’t want to be the second best. If you want to be the winner, you need to act like one. So be wise up.

    If we worry too much about what corrupted individuals wanted us to worry, you will lose the sight of your winning trophy.

  12. We really have to be careful about the minority people.Some of the groups want to have thier own country.They will cause the trouble in the country side and later cause the troubles in the city as well.
    Then Army will cease the power again.So,Stop fighting and be part of the peaceful movement.

  13. OK Even if they are not originally from Burma,is this the right way? and how can you kill thousands of innocent people,small kids & infants.where is the humanity ? if some so called Muslims kills any person then it will be the headline of all the news channels of the world as Muslims are terrorist. but here 50,000 innocent Muslims have been killed and thousands of women have raped and kids are being killed by Buddhist,neither it is headline nor a normal news in any national or international news channels. why ??????????????

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