Buddhist hardliners stop Myanmar Muslim ceremony
@ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/buddhist-hardliners-stop-myanmar-muslim-ceremony/3422998.html 08 Jan 2017
YANGON: Hardline Buddhist nationalists stopped a Muslim religious ceremony in Yangon on Sunday, witnesses and organisers said, as Islamophobic tensions boil over amid a bloody military campaign against Rohingya in northern Rakhine state.
Dozens of people, led by a handful of maroon-robed monks, marched to the YMCA in Myanmar’s commercial capital to shut down a service marking the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
“We have celebrated this festival for my whole life. Now this seems like an attack on freedom of religion,” Kyaw Nyein, secretary of the Ulama Islam organisation, told AFP.
“The monks tried to stop the ceremony without saying what we had done wrong… Why aren’t authorities taking action?”
Witnesses, who asked not to be named, said the monks barged into the ceremony shortly after it started demanding it be shut down.
Police were called, but did not intervene to stop the hardliners.
Tin Maung Win, vice president of the festival organising committee, said Buddhist nationalists were trying to stir up political dissent against the NLD government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
He said the religious extremists supported the military-backed USDP party and see the new elected government, which took power last year after winning the first free election in some 50 years, as being too soft on Muslims.
“We held the festival here for seven years without any violence, but today it happened. This is because of political interests,” he told AFP.
Long-simmering lslamophobic sentiment has been on the rise in Myanmar since deadly communal violence erupted between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine state in 2012.
In recent years Buddhist hardliners have sought to restrict Muslim worship, destroying mosques and trying to ban ceremonies such as the ritual slaughter of cattle during the festival of Eid al-Adha.
Tensions have boiled over since attacks on police posts along the Bangladesh border in October, which the government has blamed on Rohingya insurgents led by foreign fighters and backed by Middle Eastern money.
Until the recent fighting, the Rohingya had generally eschewed political violence despite decades of persecution.
Dozens have died in the ensuing military crackdown, sending some 50,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh telling stories of rape, murder and arson at the hands of Myanmar security forces that activists say could amount to crimes against humanity.
ကမၻာႀကီး က်ဥ္းလာေနပါတယ္။ သတင္းေတြက ျမန္လာပါတယ္။
ေန႔လည္ သိမ္ျဖဴလမ္း YMCA ခန္းမမွာ ခြင့္ျပဳခ်က္ယူၿပီးက်င္းပတဲ့ ေဟာေျပာပြဲတစ္ခုကို အစြန္းေရာက္လူတစ္စုရဲ႕ ၀ိုင္းအံု ရမ္းကားတဲ့လုပ္ရပ္က ခု စကၤာပူသတင္း႒ာနကတဆင့္ ကမၻာကို စျပန္႔ပါၿပီ။
ဒီလိုလုပ္ရင္ ဒီလိုျဖစ္မယ္ဆိုတာကို NLD အစိုးရ မသိစရာ မ႐ွိေလာက္ပါဘူး။
ဒီျဖစ္ရပ္ေၾကာင့္ တစ္ကမၻာလံုးက ျမန္မာေတြအတြက္ ကိုယ္က်င္လည္က်က္စားရာ ႏိုင္ငံစံု အလႊာစံုမွာ ေမးခြန္းေပါင္းစံု ထပ္အေမးခံရပါဦးမယ္။
ဘယ္သူက သူတို႔ကို လုပ္ခိုင္းလိုက္ပါသလဲ။ မသိစရာ မ႐ွိ။ သိကို သိမွာပါ။
အႀကိမ္ႀကိမ္ သိကၡာက်ခံၿပီး တစ္ဦးတစ္ဖြဲ႔ကို ကာကြယ္ေနတာက ပိုၿပီး ႐ုပ္ပ်က္ဆင္းပ်က္ ျဖစ္လာေစပါလိမ့္မယ္။