Published on Thursday, 22 November 2012 14:19
President Thein Sein met religious leaders from both Buddhism and Islam in the evening of November 16 to seek advice from them to prevent more violence in Rakhine state.
At the meeting, the President said, “The government has invited the Buddhist monks and Islam religious leaders to ask for advice to prevent more violence in the country by taking lessons on the riots in Rakhine State.”
Thein Sein confirmed that 167 persons died, and 223 were injured during two arson attacks in Rakhine, adding that a total of 10,100 houses were burnt down, resulting in 111,000 people became homeless.
He said to the religious leaders that some foreign groups and countries instigated violence which becomes a hurdle to the reforming process of his government.
President said that Islam follower Bengalis have existed in Myanmar since 1872.
There were 58,255 Maha Maden people in Myanmar, according to the census taken by British colonial government. In earlier time, they returned to Bangladesh after cultivation season. Later, they did not go back their home, and settled in Myanmar.
The official reports said that Rakhine violence occurred in 11 townships of western Myanmar state in June and October 2012, affecting 53.8 per cent female, 46.2 per cent, and 42.9 per cent of children under 12.
The government has estimated that the cost for these refugees will amount to US$66.5 million from July 2012 to June 2013.
The spate of unrest was sparked by the rape and murder of a Rakhine Buddhist woman by three Muslims, in Kyaukni- maw village, on the western coast.
The government also invited the secretary of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to Myanmar so that it could study the situation on the ground.
On August 4, Indonesian President Susilo Bambung Yudhoyono said the violence in Myanmar had nothing to do with religion and there was no ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. The US also rejected the accusation of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
The government released five staff working with United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations in August, accused of involvement in the violence in Rakhine state in June.President Thein Sein met religious leaders of both Buddhism and Islam on November 16 to seek advice from them on preventing violence in Rakhine state.
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