Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • A radio station preaches peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Buddhist monks stage anti-Rohingya rally

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-09-03

Hundreds of Buddhist monks marched in the Burmese city of Mandalay on Sunday to back President Thein Sein’s proposal to deport members of the Rohingya Muslim minority group. Fighting between the two sides has left almost 90 people dead since June.

AFP - Hundreds of Buddhist monks marched in Myanmar Sunday to support President Thein Sein's suggestion that Muslim Rohingya be deported or held in camps, in the biggest rally since the end of junta rule.

Lines of clerics wearing their traditional deep red robes passed through the streets of Mandalay flanked by crowds of supporters in scenes not witnessed since a monk-led protest in 2007, which was brutally crushed by the country's then military leaders.

"Protect Mother Myanmar by supporting the President," read one banner, while others criticised United Nations human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana, who has faced accusations that he is biased in favour of the Rohingya, following deadly unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state.

Wirathu, the 45-year-old monk who led the march, claimed that as many as 5,000 monks had joined the procession, with another several thousand people taking to the streets to watch.

He told AFP the protest was to "let the world know that Rohingya are not among Myanmar's ethnic groups at all".

The monk, who goes by one name, said the aim was also to condemn "terrorism of Rohingya Bengalis who cruelly killed ethnic Rakhines".

Speaking a dialect similar to one in neighbouring Bangladesh, the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in Myanmar are seen by the government and many Burmese as illegal immigrants and the violence has stoked a wave of anger across the Buddhist-majority country.

Fighting in Rakhine state has left almost 90 people from both sides dead since June, according to an official estimate, although rights groups fear the real toll is much higher.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar forces of opening fire on Rohingya Muslims during the violence, prompting concern across the Islamic world over the treatment of the stateless group, described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted people.

Myanmar has denied a crackdown on Muslims and launched an inquiry into the violence, while Thein Sein has accused Buddhist monks, politicians and other ethnic Rakhine figures of kindling hatred towards the Rohingya in a report sent to parliament last month.

But in comments to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, published on his official website in July, he suggested it was "impossible to accept the illegally entered Rohingya, who are not our ethnicity" and mooted sending the group to a third country or UN administered camps.

Wirathu said Thein Sein, a former general who has launched a series of reforms after taking power last year, had "stood firmly" in his comments to the UN. Although he added that the Rohingya could become citizens, "if they stay peacefully".

Rallies are expected to continue for two more days, including one in Pakokku town in the Magway region, which was the birthplace of the 2007 mass pro-democracy protests that became known as the Saffron Revolution because of the colour of the monks' robes.

Date created : 2012-09-03

  • BURMA

    Burma's government ends media censorship

    Read more

  • BURMA

    Burma commission to probe deadly ethnic clashes

    Read more

  • BURMA

    Suu Kyi meets Burmese president for first time as MP

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)