OIC secretary General, UN, International community condemn spreading of violence against Muslims in Burma

Chittagong, Bangladesh: The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the recent spreading of the violence against Muslims in Burma at the hands of extremist Buddhists, according to arabtody.net on March 25.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC Secretary General
Violence in Arakan in the west part of the country continues uninterrupted since last June and has spread to other cities and areas, particularly in the Miektila city in the Mandalay region in the middle of the country. As a result of this violence, scores of Muslims were killed and their homes and properties burnt, in addition to the burning of eight mosques and a number of religious schools. Hundreds of families fled their homes, the paper more stated as OIC Secretary General. “Such violence should not continue.”

“The Burmese government’s failure to protect the lives of its innocent civilians. It is the responsibility of the authorities to address the root causes of the issue and safeguard the lives and property of all the peoples of Burma.”

The OIC Secretary General recalled Resolutions passed by the two Summits in Makkah August, 2012, Cairo February, 2013, as well as the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Djibouti November, 2012, seeking an end to repression against the Muslim Minority in Burma with particular reference to the right of citizenship for Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan Region.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on March 24 officially launched the Global Rohingya Center (GRC) to advocate for the rights of the Rohingya people and to improve their living conditions in their places of residence and  GRC was launched under the sponsorship of Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the pan-Muslim organization.

Similarly, “I am deeply concerned with the violence and loss of lives and property in Meiktila Township, Mandalay Division,” said United Nations Resident Coordinator in Burma, Ashok Nigam on March 21, after Vijay Nambiar, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Burma who expressed “deep sorrow at the tragic loss of lives and destruction in Meiktila.”

“Prevention of such incidents must be given top priority,” Ashok Nigam said. “In addition to ardent efforts by the religious and political leaders and the authorities to calm the situation, I call upon all parties in the unrest in Meiktila to exercise the utmost tolerance and restraint within their communities.”

“I am deeply concerned about reports of violence and widespread property damage and were closely monitoring events,” US Ambassador Derek Mitchell said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and property in the violence.”

“I am deeply concerned by the violence in the town of Meiktila in central Burma, and by reports of deaths and casualties,” British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said in a statement. “I call on all parties for an immediate end to the violence, and urge the government to take all necessary action to protect civilians and to work with communities to tackle the hostility that is behind this.”

“The latest reports of violence are very worrying, and show that tension between the two communities is spreading to other parts of the country. There is a real risk of further violence unless the authorities take immediate steps to protect those at risk,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.

“There should also be an immediate and impartial investigation into the recent violence so that those responsible can be held to account.”

“The Burmese authorities are responsible for ensuring protection of people, their homes and livelihoods. While doing so, they must ensure protection of all communities without discrimination,” she said. “It is imperative that the cycle of violence is not repeated.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has expressed its deep concerned about a dramatic increase in religious intolerance in Burma, illustrated most dramatically in the recent crisis in the central Burmese town of Meiktila.

CSW has also called on the Burmese government to take decisive action to secure the safety of citizens in Meiktila, where a state of emergency has been declared, but still there were attacking Muslim and dead toll is rising. Anti-Muslim propaganda leaflets have reportedly been circulated in several parts of Burma in recent days, leading to fears that anti-Muslim violence could spread.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “We are gravely concerned about the situation in Meiktilar and the climate of intolerance and violence that appears to be being created by hate speech and anti-Muslim propaganda. We urge the Burmese government, as well as leaders of different religious communities and political groups, to work together to promote inter-religious harmony, respect for religious freedom, and to combat religious hatred, discrimination and violence.

“Burma’s reform process is at risk, and people of all religions who believe in peace, democracy and human rights must unite to prevent any further deterioration in the situation. We call on the Burmese security forces to restore public order according to the rule of law, and to ensure protection for all people regardless of religion,” said Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston.

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) strongly condemns the increasing anti-Muslim propaganda and organized killings of the Muslims in Burma/Myanmar.

Since, March 20, many Muslims were killed, at least 14 mosques with hundreds of Muslim homes were destroyed, shops damaged and looted, and more than 20,000 displaced in the central Burma town of Meiktila and around the airport area of capital Naypyidaw. The violence spread to Yameithein tonight where a mosque was destroyed.  A lot of Muslim residents have fled their homes. Extremist Buddhist mobs with Buddhist monks armed with sticks and lethal weapons are prowling the streets and hunting the Muslims.  4 Islamic religious teachers and 28 madrassa students, who included children as young as 12 years old, were among those killed,according to ARNO press released on March 23.

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