Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Myanmar police 'failed to stop' wave of Buddhist-Muslim killings

Human Rights Watch urges Myanmar to conduct inquiry into wave of sectarian violence.

BANGKOK // Human Rights Watch yesterday urged Myanmar to investigate the failure of police to stop a recent wave of Buddhist-Muslim killing and arson attacks.

The New York-based rights watchdog released satellite images which it said showed more than 800 buildings that were completely destroyed in the central town of Meiktila.

"The government should investigate responsibility for the violence in Meiktila and the failure of the police to stop wanton killings and the burning of entire neighbourhoods," said Brad Adams, the group's Asia director.

Last month's unrest, which spread to several other towns, left 43 people dead and more than 1,300 homes and other buildings destroyed, according to state media in the former army-ruled nation.

According to the United Nations, about 12,000 people have been displaced.

The worst-hit areas in Meiktila are believed to be neighbourhoods once home to "a significant number of Muslims", said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's deputy Asia director.

The violence "was allowed to run for days on end", he said.

"There's been plenty of information that we found, and that others have reported, of essentially the police allowing it to go on and not intervening."

The situation appears to have calmed since president Thein Sein on Thursday vowed a tough response against those behind the violence, which he attributed to "political opportunists and religious extremists".

In a radio address on Sunday, the former general appealed to members of the Buddhist clergy to "assist the government in promoting peace and stability".

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National