Sunday, 26 January 2020

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Getting tough on religious violence

EDITORIAL—Fundamental rights that everyone should enjoy include freedom of belief and freedom of worship. In so saying, one must therefore respect another’s religion.

A blazing scene from Tuesday's communal violence in Lashio, Shan State. Photo: Ye Htut / FacebookWhat we witness in Lashio in recent days is mob violence. The looting and destruction of mosques was an attack on a particular component of society.

The ability to live in a peaceful and safe society is also a basic right, and is a fundamental necessity of a nation state. Furthermore, a country's economic growth rests mainly on peace, stability and the entitlement of its citizen’s basic rights. While Myanmar has been transforming into a democratic society, the international community watches closely. Many countries have expressed their concerns on the recent outbreak of religious violence in the country. It is key for Myanmar to create a safe and stable environment to attract foreign investors, which will in turn produce economic development.

A civilized society will not accept 'mob violence'. It is obvious there is some link between the recent violence in Lashio and other racial/religious riots in other parts of the country. We observe a pattern of similarities: the outbreak, the spread, the hatred and the destruction.

These violent acts are committed in the presence of security forces. Weapon-wielding mobs and motorcycle-riding gangs have blatantly committed crimes in front of the eyes of law enforcement officials. The state government bears the major responsibility for the horrific violence.

Every citizen has a responsibility to stand tough against such violence and to take action to prevent it. Saying that it does not affect us is not an excuse. For in the future we do not know if a similar fate awaits us as it goes round in cycles.

This is critical time for Myanmar citizens to demand their human rights, particularly those of an ethnic or religious minority. Law enforcement officials must act efficiently to reveal the instigators, the subversive elements behind the events. And we must be tough on them and prosecute them within the terms of the law.
Last Updated ( Friday, 31 May 2013 14:00 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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