Target: President Thein Sein
Goal: End sectarian violence in Burma.
Hundreds of Buddhist men in Myanmar, commonly known as Burma, were seen marching through a town in the northeast of the country threatening Muslims with iron rods, machetes and other weapons. A number of Buddhist monks were seen taking part in the sectarian violence. This followed the burning of a mosque and an orphanage for Muslim children. The violence began after rumors spread that a Muslim man had set fire to a Buddhist woman. Reports indicate that four people have been injured and one killed. This violence must be contained and the government must do all it can to stop the spread of violence across the country.
Deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the country has occurred since early last year. These new flare ups surely will reinforce doubts that President Thein Sein has the ability to contain the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, who make up about 5% of the country’s population.
The fact that Buddhist monks are taking part in violence against this religious minority is particularly troublesome. They are preaching a message of anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobia that is completely incompatible with the Buddhist message of universal kindness. It is also making it difficult for the government to corral the mobs, as these are important religious leaders in the Buddhist community. Sign this petition to demand the government step in to halt the violence in Myanmar.
Dear President Thein Sein,
The recent violence targeting Rohingya Muslims has resulted in multiple injuries and deaths of this religious minority. Your government needs to do more in order to ensure the protection of this group. By accepting them into your society, your country’s economy will improve – not to mention your human rights record.
I ask that you immediately condemn the presence of Buddhist monks in the mobs. Their presence makes it seem acceptable for the violence to occur. In addition, the messages that they are espousing are completely contrary to the lessons found in the Buddhist religion. Please do all you can to end the violence against Rohingya Muslims.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: racoles via Wikimedia Commons