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Massacre Of Muslims In Myanmar Ignored


People protest against the killing of Muslims in Myanmar at a rally in Lahore on June 23, 2013. The United Nations said on June 14 that it had been allowed by the Myanmar government to deliver emergency aid to displaced people in rebel-held territory in the northern state of Kachin for the first time in nearly a year. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

A horrific massacre of school children and teachers in Myanmar has gone under the radar, covered-up/dismissed by state authorities.

Truly disheartening.

By TODD PITMAN Associated Press

MEIKHTILA, Myanmar — Their bones are scattered in blackened patches of earth across a hillside overlooking the wrecked Islamic boarding school they once called home.

Smashed fragments of skulls rest atop the dirt. A shattered jaw cradles half a set of teeth. And among the remains lie the sharpened bamboo staves attackers used to beat dozens of people to the ground before drowning their still-twitching bodies in gasoline and burning them alive.

The mobs that March morning were Buddhists enraged by the killing of a monk. The victims were Muslims who had nothing to do with it – students and teachers from a prestigious Islamic school in central Myanmar who were so close to being saved.

In the last hours of their lives, police had been dispatched to rescue them from a burning compound surrounded by swarms of angry men. And when they emerged cowering, hands atop their heads, they only had to make it to four police trucks waiting on the road above.

It wasn’t far to go – just one hill.

What happened on the way is the story of one of Myanmar’s darkest days since this Southeast Asian country’s post-junta leaders promised the dawn of a new, democratic era two years ago – a day on which 36 Muslims, most teenagers, were slaughtered before the eyes of police and local officials who did almost nothing to stop it.

And what has happened since shows just how hollow the promise of change has been for a neglected religious minority that has received neither protection nor justice.

The president of this predominantly Buddhist nation never came to Meikhtila to mourn the dead or comfort the living. Police investigators never roped this place off or collected the evidence of carnage left behind on these slopes. And despite video clips online that show mobs clubbing students to death and cheering as flames leap from corpses, not a single suspect has been convicted.

International rights groups say the lack of justice fuels impunity among Buddhist mobs and paves the way for more violence. It also reflects the reality that despite Myanmar’s bid to reform, power remains concentrated in the hands of an ethnic Burman, Buddhist elite that dominates all branches of government.

“If the rule of law exists at all in Myanmar, it is something only Buddhists can enjoy,” says Thida, whose husband was slain in Meikhtila. Like other survivors, she asked not to be identified by her full name for fear of retribution. “We know there is no such thing as justice for Muslims.”


The Associated Press pieced together the story of the March 21 massacre from the accounts of 10 witnesses, including seven survivors who only agreed to meet outside their homes for security reasons. The AP cross-checked their testimony against video clips taken by private citizens, many with the date and time embedded; public media footage; dozens of photos; a site inspection, and information from local officials.

Read the rest…

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  • Tanveer Khan

    They do? Kewl. Might be best to finish my education first i think.

  • Reynardine

    I believe they take young people, even though there’s no question of your volunteering for anything hazardous until you’re an adult.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Hmm, interesting suggestion Reynardine. Thank you. ‘;) Ill remember your suggestion when Im deciding on a career. I had never thought of joining an organisation like Amnesty International. 😀

  • Reynardine

    Tanveer, I do not know what plans you have in life, but if, right now, you join Amnesty International, you will already begin to ally yourself with others whose concerns are the same as yours; alreadybegin to act and to form plans of action with them. Twenty years back, no one would have dreamt of the Internet becoming such a channel for journalism and networking as it is now. The future will offer far wider possibilities. The choice is not between impotent rage and violent rage.

  • joebloe

    You know you are absolutely right. I really should never have included Loonwatch in my critique. Please accept my sincerest apology. At first I tried several times to edit the original post, to reword things, and finally to write the whole thing over, and just got fed up as this was taking a while so I tried to just delete the thing but obviously it’s still there.

    And I should maybe not have generalized about the other groups and should have prefaced my comment with and clarified that I myself in no way support the “conservatives” (the other side so to speak), who at least in modern times are generally to the right of Gengis Khan, and more pro-genocidal, bigoted, and Islamophobic compared to the “liberals” and the Democrats (not to say there aren’t self identified “old fashioned” conservatives who are very pro-civil liberty, pro-peace, anti-interventionist, and NOT “neo-conned,” stark raving, fanatical Likudniks – although they seem pretty few and far between). But still I feel that most of the national North American based Muslim civil rights groups, and even many regular Muslims seem to be so uncritically pro-Obomber, and pro-Democrat, seemingly never, ever criticizing them, and not noticing that Obama in many ways is even worse then Bush as I described in my earlier post, and seem not to notice that this is really Bush’s fourth term. Am I wrong? Maybe, but it really seems that way. Anyway, I’m sorry for the long rant. Again, thanks for this article and all of the other excellently researched and thought out articles and op-eds.


  • Seeker

    And also the avaaz team.

    This message is for the people of Burma, who sadly fed by the greed of their rulers, look at the Rohingyas with fear and misunderstandings.
    A really nice initiative to send them a message from a stand-point of tolerance.
    Lets do our bit Loonwatchers.
    Thanks all.

  • Sodium

    What has been going on in Myanmar to its helpless Muslim minority is actually a genocide. Anti-Muslims, everywhere, reject the word “genocide” as a description for what has been going on in Burma. They claim that genocide has to do with killing of ethnic group or national one, while the Muslim minority in Burma is a religious group. I checked the definition of “genocide” in the Concise Oxford American Dictionary which gave the following definition:

    ” The deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

    The rejectionists seem to be correct in their adherence to semantics to cover up their evil intent.

    All members of the United Nations are responsible for the en masse killing of human beings in Myanmar or Burma. A special responsibility should be repeatedly cast on the big powers that make up the United Nations’ Security Council. They have the authority and power to stop the en masse killing in Myanmar which, of course, it is not Libya and nor is it Iraq.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    He has even though they have expressed certain “reservations.”

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Did he really?

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    I would imagine that this is deserving of extensive coverage especially since the Obama administration has rehabilitated the regime and opened relations with them.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Good News, has a petition up to bring attention to what’s going on in

    Myanmar. It was kind of confusing to me because

    Myanmar is also refereed to as Burma, and they were talking about Burma and so I didn’t if they were talking about the same thing, at first.


  • mindy1

    OMG when will this end :'(

  • Tanveer Khan

    Raw, unabated anger is all I feel at the helplessness i am feeling right now. What adds fuel to the anger is that some people lack the humanity to simply reflect on this brutal and barbaric incident but use it as a pawn to show how agnostics and atheists are superior to theists (For agnostics and atheists, we are a bit weary of religious violence
    already. This is just one more example of the toxin that is religion.)

    Or maybe brush it off because apparently “muslims kill other infidels and other muslims daily. We never hear detailed accounts of that now, do we?” or “Maybe when the muslims stop murdering everyone not also muslim people
    would care when it happens to them. for now tit for tat they have earned
    it with years of killing innocent Jews and Christians”

    But perhaps the one that would bring out the animal in me most is “Muslims crying ‘victim’ are like the boy crying ‘wolf’. Even if there
    were any truth in these allegations (and many of them have been shown to
    be bogus), people are understandably cautious about believing them”That morally bankrupt bilgerat used the f–cking misuse of social media by some morons to brush off the enitre incident. One wonders if he even bothered to read both articles in question.

    Im going to go listen to K’naan.

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