Monday, 15 April 2013

OIC to raise issue of violence in Myanmar

OIC to raise issue of violence in Myanmar

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Jeddah: Ibrahim Naffee
Sunday 31 March 2013
Last Update 3 April 2013 4:17 pm
The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation announced yesterday that ministers from OIC states will meet on April 14 in Saudi Arabia to discuss violence against Muslims in Myanmar.
Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the organization was “ready to take all necessary measures and actions” in dealing with the impending crisis.

 Ihsanoglu also urged the government of Myanmar to “put an end to Buddhist extremism and hate campaigns, as well as ethnic cleansing.”

State media in Myanmar reported yesterday that the death toll from communal violence in the center of the country over the past 10 days has risen to 43, with more than 1,300 homes and buildings destroyed.

“The OIC intends to raise the issue in the Security Council and the Human Rights Council to find a solution that contributes to putting an end to religious persecution against Muslims in Myanmar. The OIC had previously tried to contact government officials in Myanmar to no avail. There has also been an Egyptian proposition to send a special delegation headed by the Secretary General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and includes a number of foreign ministers of member countries to Myanmar, but this visit has been postponed. The OIC attempted to open an office in Myanmar over the past year to supply aid to Muslims in Myanmar but extremist Buddhists demonstrated against this attempt,” an OIC official told Arab News.

“Violence has extended to target all Muslims in Myanmar. The recent violence in the central regions of the country confirms all to well that there is religious persecution,” he added.
On Friday, Myanmar strongly rejected comments by the UN’s special rapporteur, Tomas Ojea Quintana, on Myanmar's human rights record. Quintana had allegedly “received reports of state involvement in some of the acts of violence.”

Buddhist mobs have marauded through several towns in central Myanmar since religious violence erupted on March 20, prompting the government to impose emergency rule and curfews in some areas. It is the worst sectarian strife to hit the country. Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the western state of Rakhine left at least 180 people dead and more than 110,000 displaced last year.

Source-Arab News

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