Buddhists continue their brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims in Myanmar. More than a dozen people may have been killed last week after Buddhists rampaged through a town in an isolated corner of Myanmar, hacking Muslim women and children with knives, a human rights group reported Friday.
Myanmar, formerly Burma, is a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people. Sectarian violence has plagued the nation for nearly two years, as Buddhists have waged a vicious campaign of violence, intimidation and discrimination against the Muslim minority.
To date over 240 people have been killed and 140,000 Muslims have fled their homes. Buddhists are advocating that Muslims who cannot prove three generations of legal residence, a large part of the nearly one million Muslims in Rakhine state, should be put into camps and deported from the country.
Last week’s violence has drawn the concern of the U.S. State Department:
“We’re saddened to hear reports that several people have been killed, many injured, at least one missing, and hundreds of civilians displaced in violence that included looting and destruction of homes and property,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
A Human Rights Watch report issued April 22, 2013, notes that Buddhist monks and their supporters, backed by state security forces, “organized and encouraged coordinated attacks on Muslim neighborhoods and villages in October 2012 to terrorize and forcibly relocate the population.” The tens of thousands of displaced were denied access to humanitarian aid and unable to return home.
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”