Hundreds of Myanmar Muslims have been displaced from their homes after a violent mob of Buddhist nationalists destroyed their mosque, and ransacked their businesses in the village of Thuye Thamain.
This is a clear consequence of the violent Islamophobic atmosphere that has been nurtured by successive military regimes and which Suu Kyi’s “democractic” NLD party, which won national elections in 2015, has done nothing to stem or counter.
Police reinforcements have been called in to help guard a village in central Myanmar where religious tensions are running high after a Buddhist mob destroyed a mosque.
Authorities said an angry mob of around 200 Buddhists rampaged through a Muslim area of a village in Bago province following an argument between neighbours over the building of a Muslim school.
It is the latest flare-up of anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar, which has seen sporadic bouts of religious bloodshed since 2012, with a surge of Buddhist nationalism presenting a key challenge for Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government.
Own Lwin, the local police chief, said the atmosphere remained tense with around 100 police officers deployed to keep the peace.
He said there had been rumours that there might be more unrest, adding that no arrests have been made over the destruction of the mosque.
Win Shwe, the mosque’s secretary, said Muslim residents feared for their safety and were planning to move to a nearby town until the tension cools.
“Our situation is not safe and now we are planning to leave the village … We still feel afraid,” he said.
Strident anti-Muslim sentiment has fomented across Myanmar in recent years, with outbreaks of violencethreatening to unravel democratic gains since the former junta stepped down in 2011.