Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Yangon Protesters Force Closure of Muslim Schools in Myanmar

Tensions broke out between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in 2012 in western Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are accused of entering the country illegally from Bangladesh

Police officers and Buddhist ultra-nationalists stand near a Muslim madrasa in Tharketa township in the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, April 28, 2017, photo: AP/Thein Zaw
5 months ago

YANGON, Myanmar – Ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters have forced the closing of two Muslim schools in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, in a reminder that religious strife remains a threat to the country’s stability.

About a dozen monks and scores of supporters gathered Friday afternoon near the two Muslim madrassas while police stood by as protesters demanded that local officials close the buildings. The raucous three-hour gathering ended when officials agreed to allow them to chain the entrances of the two buildings, which the protesters claim were built illegally.

A police officer stands in front of a closed Muslim madrasa as a family, at left, looks out, in the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, April 28, 2017. Photo: AP/Thein Zaw

Tensions between Myanmar’s overwhelmingly Buddhist population and the Muslim minority spread after violent conflict broke out between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in 2012 in western Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are accused of entering the country illegally from Bangladesh.

It appeared that the madrassas were chained shut largely to appease the protesters and defuse tension, but it was unclear what their long-term fate would be.

“What happened today was very, very sad to me,” said Tin Shwe, a Muslim community leader. “I feel like they were bullying to our religious. This school has been built for like many years ago and all of our generations took care of it.”

Police officers provide security near the administrative office in Tharketa township in the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, April 28, 2017. Photo: AP/Thein Zaw

A militant organization of Buddhist monks known as Ma Ba Tha has spearheaded protests against Muslims. Its leaders have been accused of stirring up mob violence leading to the deaths of Muslims and destruction of their property around the country. Their movement surfaced latent prejudice against Muslims, and makes the nationalists a political force that cannot be ignored.

Most of the anti-Muslim activity has taken place outside of Yangon, the country’s most cosmoplitan city. In what seemed to be a coordinated campaign, anti-Muslim activists last year pressured local officials to have Muslim institutional buildings declared illegal and torn down. In some cases the activists occupied and dismantled the structures themselves.

Friday’s action against the madrassas was unusual because it occurred in Yangon, one of the rare times such forced closures have happened there.

The Ma Ba Tha movement had seemed to be in decline for the past few years, but the situation that fuelled its growth — the ethnic conflict in Rakhine state — remains unresolved.

More than 100,000 Muslim Rohingya live in squalid displacement camps where they were resettled after the 2012 violence. The government still refuses to grant citizenship to most of the estimated 1 million Rohingyas, even though in many cases, they have lived in Myanmar for generations.

Violence heated up late last year when a small armed Rohingya insurgency was launched, leading to massive retaliation by Myanmar’s army, which was accused of carrying out severe human rights violations.

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Business

Kohl's to Start Accepting Amazon Returns ...

32 mins ago
World

Trump Lawyer: Senate Panel Delays Privat ...

46 mins ago
Business

Delta Ends Flights Between Guam and Japa ...

50 mins ago
World

Hurricane Maria Slams Dominica, now Mena ...

53 mins ago
Most Popular

Mancera Pays Tribute to 85 Earthquake in ...

By Notimex
Mexico

Hurricane Maria Smashes Dominica, Now Me ...

By The Associated Press
World

Global Shares Drift as Investors Pause A ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Rohingya Muslims being Wiped Off Myanmar ...

By The Associated Press
World

Mexican Independence Day: A Quick Guide

By Peter Appleby
Mexico