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UN issues resolution on Buddhist-Muslim clashes in Myanmar

25 December 2012 8:24

The United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution expressing concern over clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar.

The resolution, which was adopted by the 193-member assembly late on Monday, called on the Myanmar government to take action to improve the situation of the Rohingya Muslims.

The UN General Assembly urged the government “to protect all their (Muslims’) human rights, including their right to a nationality.”

The resolution also said there are “systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms” in the country.

Some 800,000 Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship rights due to the policy of discrimination that has denied them the right of citizenship and made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion, and displacement.

The stateless Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine are in citizenship limbo, and the Myanmar government refuses to do anything about the situation, despite the international community’s calls for Myanmar to give the Rohingyas legal status.

Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar since it achieved independence in 1948.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by Buddhist extremists.

Buddhist extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in Rakhine. Myanmar Army forces allegedly provided the extremist Buddhists containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers, who are then forced to flee.

Myanmar’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also come under fire for her stance on the violence. The Nobel Peace laureate has refused to censure the Myanmar military for its persecution of the Rohingyas.

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued separate statements, calling on Myanmar to take action to protect the Rohingya Muslim population against extremist Buddhists.

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