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State of emergency extended in Meiktila

The Myanmar parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion to extend the state of emergency in Meiktila and three surrounding townships for a further 60 days.

President Thein Sein initially declared the order on March 22 to bring rioters under control after a fight between Buddhists and Muslims broke out in a gold shop. The ensuing violence resulted in the deaths of at least 44 people and left some 12,000 homeless.

While peace and stability have been restored in the region, the extension is seen as a preventative measure while tensions in the area remain high.

Speaking at the special session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (General Assembly) on Tuesday, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi suggested that "the administrative authority should inform the local people about their effective measures in times of emergency for a return to normality," according to a report in state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar.

Suu Kyi also emphasized "the need to be more cautious when ordinances are declared while the country is on the road to democracy".

The order comes on the same day that seven Muslims were given sentences ranging from two to 28 years for the murder of a Buddhist monk during the violence in March.

Related articles:
  1. Seven Muslims sentenced for Meiktila monk murder
  2. Thein Sein pledges to uphold Muslim rights
  3. Meiktila rehabilitation will take 2 or 3 months
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 May 2013 21:27 )  

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