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Myanmar gov't refutes accusations of religious persecution, discrimination in Rakhine incident

English.news.cn   2012-08-22 11:05:20            

YANGON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar government has rejected accusations by some individuals and organizations abroad over the recent Rakhine incident, clarifying that the incident in the country's western state are sectarian conflicts which are purely internal affairs of a sovereign state and are not relating to any kind of religious persecution or discrimination.

"We will not accept any attempt to politically regionalize or internationalize this conflict as a religious issue. Such attempt will not contribute to finding solution to the problem but will only complicate the issue further," said a press release of the Foreign Ministry published in official media Wednesday.

Noting that Myanmar is a country where Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus have been living together in unity and harmony throughout history, the statement warned that "any outside interference or instigation to hamper the already restored peace and stability in the affected areas should be stopped and support should be rendered for the prevalence of law and order, peace and stability, reconciliation among concerned people and for the rehabilitation of the victims."

The statement made clear that the violence in the Rakhine state are neither the conflict between two religious groups of different faiths nor humanitarian issue but was only the violence conflict between two communities within Myanmar following a criminal act.

"The government of Myanmar has never practiced policy of violence against Muslims or any other faiths. The government totally rejects accusations made by some organizations that the government is practicing such a policy of abuse," the statement said, adding that the government has been working closely with international community for relief and rehabilitation for the victims of both communities in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner.

The statement cited the witnessing of the situation on ground by Special Envoy of the United Nations Vijay Nambiar, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Thomas Ojea Quintana, Turkish delegation headed by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, President of Indonesia Red Cross Yusuf Kalla, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Atta AI-manam Bakhit.

The government has also extended invitation to OIC Secretary- General to visit Myanmar and further observe the situation, the statement disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Myanmar government expressed welcome of the statements of the UN Secretary General and the ASEAN Foreign Minister on the action taken by the government regarding the situation in Rakhine state.

In order to expose the real cause of the Rakhine incident, Myanmar president formed a 27-member Investigation Commission on Aug. 17 comprising leaders from religious organizations including Islam, intellectuals, politicians and retired government officials among others.

The formation was supported by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

According to Myanmar foreign ministry's statement, 88 people lost their lives in the May-June riot in the state, of whom 31 were Rakhinese, while 57 were Bengali Muslims.

Houses and religious buildings from both communities were burned down.

The statement added that law and order in the Rakhine state is improving and overall situation in the state is now returning to normalcy.

Editor: znz
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