Then they hanged or beheaded the rest of his family. Yet another example of Muslim on Buddhist violence in a country where Muslims are only a small minority.
In Southern Thailand Muslim gunmen continue killing and threatening innocent citizens. The Muslim insurgents have threatened to kill 20 teachers and have distributed fliers that said, “WANTED: 20 Deaths of Buddhist teachers.” Muslim terrorists object to the education system which teaches Buddhist culture that is not acceptable in Islam. The attacks are intended to force Buddhists to leave the region because Muslims want to create an independent Muslim nation in the three southern provinces.
Bodu Bala Sena Executive Committee Member Dilantha Vithanage told ‘Mirror’ that the volatile situation has occurred due to an allegation against an elderly Muslim for abusing a 6 year old girl.
Our organization made a request from the Police to normalize the situation, he stated.
Bodu Bala Sena does not have any involvement in the situation occurred, he said, and requested the public to remain calm while the Police handled the situation. He requests from the public to not take law into their own hands in such a situation.
At least three people were wounded when mobs from the ethnic Sinhalese majority stoned and later set fire to a clothing store in Pepiliyana on Thursday night, police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said.
“We have deployed extra units of STF (Special Task Force commandos) and police to guard the area,” Siriwardena told AFP. “The situation was brought under control within a few hours.”
No arrests had been made, Siriwardena said.
The authorities have not declared a motive for the attack, but official sources said it appeared to be part of the ongoing targeting of minority Muslim businesses by a group of Sinhala-Buddhist hardliners.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, an umbrella organisation of Muslim groups, said tensions had been heightened by Thursday’s attack.
“It has created a fear psychosis among the Muslims,” council president NM Ameen told AFP. “We know a majority of the (Buddhist) people do not support this type of activity.”
Hundreds of men smashed parked vehicles, stormed the Fashion Bug store and set fire to merchandise before escaping, witnesses told AFP.
Army units were called in to disperse the mob as tension gripped the area.
The attack came a day after Sri Lankan police set up a hotline to tackle complaints about anyone suspected of “inciting religious or racial hatred”.
Mobs hurled stones at another Muslim-owned clothing chain near Colombo in January while Muslim businessmen have also complained of random stone-throwing, intimidation and calls for the boycott of their shops.
Buddhist hardliners last month forced Islamic clerics to withdraw “halal” certification from food sold in the local market, saying it was offensive to the majority non-Muslim population.
President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is a Buddhist, urged monks earlier this year not to incite religious hatred and violence.
The United Nations estimates that Sri Lanka’s ethnic civil war claimed at least 100,000 lives between 1972 and 2009, when Tamil rebels were crushed in a major military offensive.
Less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 20 million are Muslim. The majority are Sinhalese Buddhist, while most Tamils are Hindu.
Having announced that they have concluded the fight against the Halal victoriously, the Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist extremist organization Bodu Bala Sena Sunday announced that they will not talk about Halal issue.
Instead they would now take up the issue of removing a mosque from Kuragala Buddhist monastery complex in the central hills.
Addressing a mass rally held in Kandy city in the Central Province Sunday, the national organizer of Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that the organization would not speak of Halal again since they had won the Halal issue. He insisted the relevant firms to remove the Halal certificate before the Sinhala New Year that falls in mid-April.
The Buddhist monk vowed that the Bodu Bala Sena would now take up the issue of removing a mosque that has allegedly taken over the Buddhist monastery in Kuragala.
Kuragala rock cave is believed to be a Buddhist monastery dating back to 2nd century BC, The Buddhist organization says that in recent times the Muslim fundamentalists have taken over the site and destroyed the evidence of Buddhist heritage.
The shrine has inscriptions dated back to 10th century and Muslims believe the visiting Muslim traders in the past used this place as a resting place and shrine.
Source: BBC News
Buddhist monks were filmed throwing stones at the storage centre of popular garment chain Fashion Bug in a suburb of the capital on Thursday night.
Police told AFP news agency that forces had been deployed to guard the area.
The attack comes as hard-line Buddhist groups step up a campaign against the lifestyles of Muslims.
The government’s Minister for Justice Rauff Hakeem, himself a Muslim, urged the prime minister to call an urgent cabinet meeting to discuss the security of Muslims following these attacks.
These developments come four years after the army in the mainly Sinhalese Buddhist country defeated Tamil separatists.
During Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war the Muslims – a small Tamil-speaking minority, about 9% of the population – kept a low profile, but many now fear that ethnic majority hard-liners are trying to target them.
The BBC’s Charles Haviland in Colombo said the monks led a crowd which quickly swelled to about 500, yelling insults against the shop’s Muslim owners and rounding on journalists seeking to cover the events.
Five or six were injured, including a cameraman who needed stitches.
Eyewitnesses said the police stood and watched although after the trouble spread they brought it under control.
“We have deployed extra units of STR (Special Task Force commandos) and police to guard the area,” police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
“The situation was brought under control within a few hours,” he said, adding that no arrests had been made.
Television footage showed broken glass and clothing from the warehouse strewn in the street.
Hard-line Buddhist groups led by monks also sent around a text this week urging people to boycott Muslim shops when stocking up for the forthcoming Sri Lankan New Year festival.
After some Muslim groups called a strike in protest against a growing Buddhist campaign against their lifestyle, including halal food classification, a hard-line Buddhist party in the governing coalition issued a statement saying: “Sinhalese Buddhists should be determined to teach such Muslim extremists a lesson that they will never forget”.
The assault comes a day after police set up a hot-line to tackle complaints about anyone “inciting religious or racial hatred hatred”.
Source : firstpost.com
Faced with stiff opposition by hardline Buddhist majority groups, a Sri Lankan Muslim group, which has been issuing the Halal certificates to businesses, has said it would now withdraw the practice.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), Sri Lanka’s main body of Islamic scholars, said that Halal certification would now be limited to export products meant for Islamic nations. “We are giving up what is very important to Muslims. We are making a sacrifice in the interest of peace and ethnic harmony,” Rizwe Mufthi of the ACJU said.
The Buddhist extremist Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Force) has been running a vocal protest campaign to force the end to Halal certification. Their main grouse was that non-Muslims are being forced to consume Halal certified products.
Mufthi said that consumer products in the super market shelves would no longer carry the Halal certification.
As an immediate reaction to the BBS campaign, the ACJU had last month said that Halal products would only be offered to Muslims, which was dismissed out of hand by the BBS.
Lanka’s leading trade chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said it was impractical to have Halal and non-Halal products from the same item.
Responding to another criticism that the Muslim scholars of ACJU were making money out of Halal certification, the body said the certificates from now on would be issued free of charge to those who cater to export orders.
Sensing racial tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the nine per cent Muslim minority over the issue, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a special ministerial committee to recommend ways to nip it in the bud.
The world is starting to fight back against Islam. Muslims vanish as Buddhist attacks approach Myanmar’s biggest cityPosted: April 1, 2013
Source : Reuters( Jason Szep Additional reporting by Min Zayar Oo; Editing by Andrew R.C. Marshall and Robert Birsel)
SIT KWIN (Reuters) – The Muslims of Sit Kwin were always a small group who numbered no more than 100 of the village’s 2,000 people. But as sectarian violence led by Buddhist mobs spreads across central Myanmar, they and many other Muslims are disappearing.
Their homes, shops and mosques destroyed, some end up in refugee camps or hide in the homes of friends or relatives. Dozens have been killed.
“We don’t know where they are,” says Aung Ko Myint, 24, a taxi-driver in Sit Kwin, where on Friday, Buddhists ransacked a store owned by one of the town’s last remaining Muslims. “He escaped this morning just before the mob got here.”
Since 42 people were killed in violence that erupted in Meikhtila town on March 20, unrest led by hardline Buddhists has spread to at least 10 other towns and villages in central Myanmar, with the latest incidents only a two-hour drive from the commercial capital, Yangon.
The crowds are fired up by anti-Muslim rhetoric, spread by telephone and social media networks such as Facebook, from monks preaching about a so-called “969 movement”.
The number is derived from Buddhism – the three numbers refer to various attributes of the Buddha, his teachings and the monkhood – but it has come to represent a radical form of anti-Islamic nationalism which urges Buddhists to boycott Muslim-run shops and services.
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, but about 5 percent of its 60 million people are Muslims. There are large Muslim communities in Yangon, Mandalay and towns across Myanmar’s heartland.
The unrest poses the biggest challenge to a reformist government that took office in 2011 after nearly half a century of military rule.
In a nationally televised speech on Thursday, President Thein Sein warned “political opportunists and religious extremists” against instigating further violence.
“I will not hesitate to use force as a last resort to protect the lives and safeguard the property of the general public,” he said.
Dusk-to-dawn curfews are in effect in many areas of Bago, the region where Sit Kwin lies, while four townships in central Myanmar are under a state of emergency imposed last week.
But the security forces are still battling against pockets of unrest, while state-run media reports 68 people have been arrested for unrest which made almost 13,000 people homeless.
The trouble in Sit Kwin began four days ago, when people riding 30 motorbikes drove through town urging villagers to expel Muslim residents, said witnesses. They then trashed a mosque and a row of Muslim shops and houses.
“They came with anger that was born from rumours,” said one man who declined to be identified.
Further south, police in Letpadan have stepped up patrols in the farming village of 22,000 people about 160 km (100 miles) from Yangon.
Three monks led a 30-strong group towards a mosque on Friday. Police dispersed the crowd, many of whom carried knives and staves, and briefly detained two people. They were later released at the request of township officials, police said.
“I won’t let it happen again,” said police commander Phone Myint. “The president yesterday gave the police authority to control the situation.”
The abbot who led the protest, Khamainda, said he took to the streets after hearing rumours passed by other monks by telephone, about violence between Buddhists and Muslims in other towns. He said he wanted revenge against Muslims for the destruction by the Taliban of Buddhist statues in Bamiyan province in Afghanistan in 2001.
“There is no problem with the way they live. But they are the minority and we are the majority. And when the minority insults our religion we get concerned,” he told Reuters. “We will come out again if we get a chance.”
Letpadan villagers fear the tension will explode. “I’m sure they will come back and destroy the mosque,” says Aung San Kyaw, 35, a Muslim. “We’ve never experienced anything like this.”
Across the street, Hla Tan, a 67-year-old Buddhist, shares the fear. “We have lived peacefully for years. Nothing can happen between us unless outsiders come. But if they come, I know we can’t stop them,” he said.
North of Sit Kwin is the farming town of Minhla, which endured about three hours of violence on both Wednesday and Thursday.
About 300 people, most from the nearby village of Ye Kyaw, gathered in the early afternoon on Wednesday. The crowd swelled to about 800 as townsfolk joined, a Minhla policeman told Reuters. They then destroyed three mosques and 17 shops and houses, he said.
No Buddhist monks were involved, said witnesses.
The mob carried sticks, metal pipes and hammers, said Hla Soe, 60, a Buddhist who runs an electrical repair shop in Minhla. “No one could stop them,” he said.
About 200 soldiers and police eventually intervened to restore a fragile peace. “I’m very nervous that it will happen again,” said Hla Soe.
About 500 of Minhla’s township’s 100,000 people are Muslims, said the police officer, who estimated two-thirds of those Muslim had fled.
However, Tun Tun is staying. “I have no choice,” says the 26-year-old, whose tea shop was looted by Buddhists, one armed with a chainsaw.
He plans to rebuild his shop, whose daily revenue of 10,000 kyat ($11) supports an extended family of 12. On the wall of his ransacked kitchen is a portrait of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He did not believe she could do anything to help.
Tun Tun traced the rising communal tension in Minhla to speeches given on February 26 and 27 by a celebrated monk visiting from Mon State, to the east of Yangon.
He spoke to a crowd of 2,000 about the “969 movement”, said Win Myint, 59, who runs a Buddhist community centre which hosted the monk.
After the speech, Muslims were jeered and fewer Buddhists frequented his tea shop, said Tun Tun. Stickers bearing the number 969 appeared on non-Muslim street stalls across Minhla.
President Thein Sein’s ambitious reform programme has won praise, but his government has also been criticised for failing to stem violence last year in Rakhine State in western Myanmar, where officials say 110 people were killed and 120,000 were left homeless, most of them Rohingya Muslims.
The U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar said on Thursday he had received reports of “state involvement” in the recent violence at Meikhtila.
Soldiers and police sometimes stood by “while atrocities have been committed before their very eyes, including by well-organised ultra-nationalist Buddhist mobs”, said the rapporteur, Tomas Ojea Quintana. “This may indicate direct involvement by some sections of the state or implicit collusion and support for such actions.”
Late on Friday, three monks were preparing to give another “969” speech in Ok Kan, a town 113 km (70 miles) from Yangon.