Religion


Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW),in a statement on 27 September, called on the Rakhine State Government to halt plans to demolish more than 3,000 buildings associated with the Rohingya population on the pretext that they have been built illegally. This includes 12 mosques and 35 madrasas in the Muslim-majority townships of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

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A Lower House lawmaker has asked that the government restrict birth rates within the Muslim community in two Arakan State townships: Maungdaw and Buthidaung—a move that was rejected by the Union health minister and described as “disturbing” by an international rights group.

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On a recent cloudy Yangon afternoon, a group of workers was taking a lunch break at a small roadside restaurant.

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A drive to “cleanse” Yangon Region’s Buddhist clergy will receive high-level official support, government officials have assured senior clerics. Both Union Minister for Religion and Culture Thura U Aung Ko and Yangon Region’s chief minister, U Phyo Min Thein, have given the operation a green light.

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In a move already generating backlash and poised to exacerbate communal tensions, the Rakhine State government has announced plans to demolish 3000 allegedly illegal buildings, including dozens of mosques and madrasas in two Muslim-majority townships.

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In addition to establishing ceasefires between armed groups, Myanmar’s peace process should build harmonious relations between other groups in society, said U Tin Myo Win, the government’s lead peace negotiator and a veteran National League for Democracy member.

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Rakhine state government officials are moving to demolish more than 3,000 allegedly illegal buildings, including a dozen mosques and more than 30 other religious buildings, in the Maungdaw District, RFA’s Myanmar Service has learned.

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Government representatives have told a clergy meeting in Yangon that Sangha leaders need to take a more active hand in policing their members, including action on illegal monasteries and the prevention of monks from taking part in street protests.

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State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said politics was behind a joint statement from 11 political parties opposing the Kofi Annan-led Arakan State Advisory Commission.

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Further buttressing complaints about the Rakhine State Advisory Commission, 11 political parties put out a joint statement calling for the disbanding of the “illegitimate” new body.

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Buddhist monks and activists on Sunday commemorated the ninth anniversary of the Saffron Revolution.

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A proposal rejecting the legitimacy of the Rakhine State Advisory Commission and its activities was approved by the Rakhine State legislature yesterday during a hluttaw session, in a vote of questionable practical significance.

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The concerned authority – Maungdaw district admin officer, Township admin officer, Burma border guard police (BGP) officers and land survey officers – allotted 10-acre arable land of Rohingyas to build a pagoda and other purposes in Maungdaw south on August 24, Mohin from Maungdaw said.

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A Rakhine State lawmaker forged ahead yesterday with an effort to continue stoking controversy over the recent formation of an advisory commission for the state chaired by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

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Buddhist nationalist protesters in Rangoon on Sunday launched racial slurs at former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and scuffled with local residents who were simply playing football nearby.

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ONE REGULAR criticism of the new government is that it is too often wasting time and energy on unimportant issues, rather than those that urgently require attention.

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Burma’s hardline nationalist group has claimed that it was “not responsible” for a photo condemning the appointment of former United Nations chief Kofi Annan to lead an advisory panel on conflict-torn Arakan State.

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The Arakan National Party (ANP) has demanded that the government cancel the new Arakan State Advisory Commission formed on Wednesday, of which former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will serve as the chairman.

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The Rakhine State government plans to form a commission of local elders to monitor peace and stability in the restive state, according to Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, though one member of the regionally dominant Arakan National Party criticised what he said was a lack of transparency and clarity about the body’s functions.

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A Workshop to formulate draft bills on interfaith harmony and against all forms of discrimination is being led by civil society organisations and law experts this week, with advocates saying they aim to submit the proposed legislation to parliament within the year.

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