Arakan Violence Death Toll Put at 50

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RANGOON — Burma’s state media reported Saturday that the death toll from recent communal violence in the west has increased to 50, even though the unrest was largely quelled several days ago.

The New Light of Myanmar newspaper also said that 54 other people were injured, 78 riots broke out and 2,230 houses and buildings were destroyed by fire in the 18 days through to Thursday. It also said, without elaborating, that there were only two riots Thursday, which the authorities were able to handle peacefully.

The violence was a result of long-standing tensions in Arakan State between the ethnic Arakan community and Rohingya residents, whom many Arakanese regard as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. The Rohingya say they are also longtime settlers in the region. The Arakanese are Buddhist while Rohingya are Muslim, which had led to fears the localized conflict could spread along religious lines and into other parts of Burma.

On Thursday, Arakan State authorities had given the death toll as 29, but that was only for the period June 8 — when there was mass rioting and arson in the state’s Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships — through Wednesday. Although Saturday’s newspaper account did not give a breakdown for the new figure of 50 dead, it may include the June 3 lynching deaths of 10 Muslims by a Arakan mob of 300, and an earlier incident said to have sparked the lynching — the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman, allegedly by three Muslims.

Thursday’s figures had been broken down by ethnic group, and showed that both sides suffered roughly equally, in terms of deaths, injuries and property damage. Houses of worship of both communities were also burned.

During the unrest, army troops were sent to help quell the violence and a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed. When the situation spread to Sittwe, a seaport and the area’s main urban center, President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency, giving the military full administrative powers to keep order. The security measures remain in effect.

Despite the apparent cessation of violence, the area still faces a humanitarian crisis because of the number of displaced people. On Thursday, Arakan State authorities said monasteries and schools were sheltering 31,884 displaced people. An unknown number of Rohingya have tried to flee to Bangladesh, but the authorities there have barred their entry.

The New Light of Myanmar reported that private donors are assisting in relief efforts.

Sittwe on Saturday was calm for the fourth straight day, though many shops and markets remained closed and people were still fearful of further arson attacks, according to Sittwe residents contacted by phone.

“Life is not back to normal yet. It will take some time to ease our fears and live normal lives. We are afraid that some Muslims might come up the shore at night and burn the Rakhine [Arakanese] houses,” said Ohn May, a Sittwe resident.

She said the main market remains closed, though banks have been open for limited hours since Thursday.

Saturday’s New Light of Myanmar said that 2,230 houses and buildings were destroyed by fire, less than the 2,528 houses reported Thursday by Arakan State authorities.


8 Responses to Arakan Violence Death Toll Put at 50

  1. Where is native Arakanese living to day? The answer is that majority native Arakanese living in Yangon and many other parts of Burma.Why they move? Because Native Arakanese does not like those Arakanese decedent came and settled in Akyab ( Sitwe ) from Awah-Kyun
    due to their behavior is not same as Arakanese but look like Bangali.
    Native Muslims including Native Rohingya can move around with native Arakanese accommodate the environment and socialize.

    • No offense but I think you’re a very confused person. Please do some research on the history of Arakhan (Rakhine) State before spreading misinformation.

  2. Dear readers Burmese janata a big lair. More than thousand muslims massacre. Still Luintin & Police are killing. Let to check UNHCR correctly.

  3. @noor – “Dear readers Burmese janata a big lair. More than thousand muslims massacre. Still Luintin & Police are killing. Let to check UNHCR correctly.”

    1000 dead and not a peep from independent western media? How can irrawaddy mag allow this to be published? This is pure propaganda! Yet you sensor any criticism of the “protected” side.

    This is not very objective and you’ve lost all credibility. Bye bye!

  4. Take a look first at the authors, ladies and gentlemen! See the words, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS? The reason for the confusion about what is going on is that THIS IS WHAT IS BEING REPORTED TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. It does mean that people could have distorted idea of what is going on. The information reported, as several people have said is incomplete. We do not have a REAL idea of what is going on unless we get more accurate and complete information.

  5. why this muslim leaders are silent when arkans are killing muslims is no other muslim country or leaders to take over this matter and [protect the muslim community in the world…………..

    who is coming first to sarvive the muslims…………
    are the araians, asians or africans………..why UN is not focussing this.Due to decrease of muslims religion UN is very happy about this

    IS THIS IS CALL PEACE FOR WORLD FOR UN (UNITED NATIONS)??????????????????
    WHERE….????????????????????????????????

  6. I will let U Mg Gyi know about his post.
    Where is native Arakanese living to day? The answer is that majority native Arakanese living in Yangon and many other parts of Burma.Why they move?
    —————————————————————
    Because Native Arakanese does not like those Arakanese decedent came and settled in Akyab ( Sitwe ) from Awah-Kyun
    due to their behavior is not same as Arakanese but look like Bangali.
    ——————————————————————-
    my concept
    (here your answer is the way you tried to make things mixed up within Rakhine ethnics, “little knowledge is dangerous” you really have to take close look before you post or write comments which go to the public,

    The truth is, to have better life in the Capital, to broaden one’s horizon, is like the way Burmese Who lived in Rangoon moved to out of the Myanmar (to US, Aust, Japan, UK etc)

    But now, one more message, if the Rakhine State have been developed well and ethnic had equal business opportunities, or other means of living in good condition, I am so sure that no one will desert or leave the Native land.

    And there was never Rohingya exist in Rakhine State, it is just the name a group tried to invade the area (land) where native Rakhine left for Greener pasture. yes Rakhine ethnics include ” so called Kaman(Islamic) and Maramargyi” As far as I understand the word ” Rohingya” is the Rohin = Rakhine and gya = who returns, so the word means Rakhine who came back to their native land from where they have lived. but 99.99 percent of Rakhine are Buddhism. (no doubt at all)

    So let me clear to make you understand, Rohingya is not a ethnic name. it is just the compound noun.
    ———————————————————————
    Native Muslims including Native Rohingya can move around with native Arakanese accommodate the environment and socialize.
    —————————————————————-
    Who ever holds NRC card or other 4 types of card can freely travel within Myanmar. No question about it.
    But some Big wig who from (immigration Dept) issued hopefully false cards to those so called declare themselves “Rohingya” for those issue ” the ruling party has to very carefully look in to it”

    I respect the equal and fair opportunities whoever entitled to…

    regards

    one more things, the main story is just the news (which is composed by from one point of view (reporter or author)through his or her collected sources of information.

    so whoever write on comments, I suggest that first try to understand and then find out the reality then share it to public with self respect and responsibility.

    Especially on this type of issue” not religion problem, it is defending one’s race, one’s own land from those who tried to invade technically or with well long term plan with International support.

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