Despite their own hardship, our sources in Arakan express deep concern over the widespread violence against Muslims in other areas of Burma. Angered by the ineffective international laws, our sources explain how the extremist Buddhist community are taking full advantage continuing their racially aggravated violent rampage without any accountability. Now, Buddhist extremist groups have adopted the tactics previously used by the extremist Rakhine Buddhists in Arakan, taking further steps to enact a nationwide massacre of Muslims.
The extremist Buddhist group, ‘969’ who are largely responsible for the opportunistic acts of violence in the Meikthila area, take instruction from their spiritual leader who is an ex- prisoner and Monk named, Wirathu. The extremist Monk and 969 leader had recently delivered a speech which fueled the nationwide hatred and need to purge Muslims from the Burmese community, which it seems no government imposed curfew can prevent. Yesterday, the violence spread to Nattalin town of the Pegu division (90 miles north from Yangon). Another mosque was burnt to the ground, with police yet again unable to control the mob responsible for the arson attack. Wirathu’s intentions are clearly not in line with the democratic reform or for the betterment of Burma. Yet his messages of hatred, causing 969 to be labelled the Buddhist neonazi nationalist group, continue to be spread.
Yesterday, at the APPG Burma meeting at the House of Commons, Matthew Smith from Human Rights Watch detailed the ongoing violence simultaneously taking place against the Rohingya, the Kachin community and now the recent massacre of the Muslims of Meikhtila. He explained that the country and the international community are '‘intoxicated with a narrative of political change'’ but also urged that ‘'democratic reform is to face the issues of violence head on'’ and not create a facade for it to hide behind.
So far, no voice of reason has been able to reach Burma. The OIC were denied entry to Arakan to facilitate resettlement for the Rohingya after the Rakhine Buddhists protested against the central government to prevent this from taking place. It is clear the the Burmese government have no intention of resettling the Rohingya and have instead devised a plan to rebuild the IDP camps on ‘stilts’ in preparation for the forthcoming rainy season. Undoubtedly, the same plan will be put in place for the thousands of muslims displaced in Meikhtila- reported to number around 13,000 at present- and from other areas of Burma; taking away their freedom by having them confined in IDP camps, making them strangers in their own homeland.
With increasing awareness of the abuses in Burma, recently trending popularly on twitter, it is even more crucial that the decades of suppression and the restrictive 1982 Citizenship Law is also understood in context with the last nine months of violence.
The images below, provided by some of our sources, illustrate the true nature of the attacks inflicted on the muslim communities, with many rounded up and kept in guarded areas.