Communal Violence in Burma

A long and vicious spell of communal clashes has been occurring between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in western Burma (Myanmar) for the past four months. The internal situation remains highly volatile there, leading to the almost complete segregation of the two communities in towns like Sittwe. This decades-old impasse is rooted in a dispute between two communities over the alleged immigrant status of the region's Muslims. Although many Rohingyas have been residing in Myanmar for several generations, they are denigrated as foreigners due to their origin in Bangladesh. The present unrest began in June of this year when the two communities turned on one another throughout Rakhine state. The resultant violence took the toll of at least 90 lives and destroyed around 3,000 homes, along with several monasteries and mosques. Fresh violence erupted on the night of Sunday, October 20th in Minyabar township, about 15 miles (25 kms) north of the coastal state capital of Sittwe....(Read Full Post)