Mon 9 Sep 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,News,Religion
Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) has announced that the incidents of communal violence since 2011 are being instigated behind the scenes.
NLD spokesperson, Nyan Win was answering questions from reporters after a central executive meeting of the NLD held in Yangon on September 6.
“In our opinion, the occurrence of communal crises across the country seems unnatural. We believe there are hands we can’t see behind the scene. It is not easy to tell who is who. It is not a conflict between Buddhism and Islam, but we think some are creating communal crises,” said Nyan Win.
Riots erupted in Rakhine State after a young girl was raped and killed in May in 2012. The riots continued up to June with recurrences in October leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced despite a state of emergency being declared.
Earlier in March this year riots erupted in the northern town of Meiktila, spreading across various townships in the Mandalay Region and some townships in Bago Region. Officials say these incidents killed 43 and injured 64, leaving hundreds of families displaced.
Similar riots have occurred in Okkan Township, Yangon Region, as well as in Lashio in Shan State. The most recent incident was in August this year in Kantbalu Township, Sagaing Region.
The communal violence across Myanmar has exacerbated tensions between Buddhist and Muslim minority communities and threatens to destabilise an already fragile reform process. Most of these incidents have common characteristics and causes including initial incidents of rape and the spread of unfounded rumours to incite people to violence.
The Presidential spokesperson, Ye Htut announced on June 29 that an emergency management committee had been formed to address these conflicts. Investigations were underway to expose those inciting the unrest.
Despite numerous claims of behind-the-scenes instigation and repeated police assurances that such incidents are being investigated, the authorities have yet to expose any perpetrators.