LASHIO, Myanmar – Last incident of communal violence summed up the tension between Buddhists and Muslims in the country; Buddhists in Lashio have set fire to a mosque, a religious school and a number of shops.
Loads of blames have been thrown on Myanmar authorities as being the reason behind such incidents; President Thein Sein, previously vowed reforms, and till now recurrent attacks by Buddhists have not stopped.
“The situation in Lashio this morning is calm. There has been no casualty in the incident so far … The Tatmadaw (military) and Myanmar Police Force are taking care of security measures,” presidential spokesman Ye Htut said in a statement.
“Religious and social organizations are cooperating with administrative institutions to prevent further violence,” he added.
140,000 Muslims have been displaced as Buddhists ravaged and burnt hundreds of Muslim houses killing hundreds on the one hand, as authorities have been reported to put sanctions on Muslims’ marriage and birthrate on the other hand.
In March at least 44 people, most of them Muslims, died in the central city of Meikhtila after a rampage by Buddhist mobs incensed by the killing of a monk by Muslims, shortly after a violent row between a Buddhist couple and Muslim shop owners.
However, Tuesday’s unrest in Lashio was ascriber to a quarrel between two people, named by state media as Aye Aye Win, 24, a Buddhist woman who sold petrol, and Ne Win, a Muslim man aged 48.
MRTV television said Ne Win poured petrol over Aye Aye Win and set her on fire. She was in hospital, it said.
After police detained Ne Win, Buddhists surrounded the police station and demanded he be handed over. When they refused, the crowd went on the rampage, attacking Myoma Mosque near Lashio market, residents said.
Authorities rushed to restore order late on Tuesday by dispersing unlawful groupings under a state of emergency.