Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Statement on Mandalay

08 July ,2014

Myanmar is long known for its diverse cultural and religious heritage. However, in recent years this heritage is in danger due to growing tensions and intolerance leading to indiscriminate violent acts. This has resulted in needless loss of life as well as damaged property and loss in livelihoods.

The long and ongoing conflict along ethnic and faith lines in Rakhine state has already claimed many lives and displaced countless thousands of Rohingya who only seek a right to live peacefully with their neighbours. However, this conflict has now spread to other parts of Myanmar. Recently, minority communities in the second largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay, have been victims of repeated violence that has lead to tragic death and the burning of properties, some of which took place in the presence of security forces who did not act to maintain peace.

AMAN strongly condemns such indiscriminate acts of violence. We call for immediate action to be taken by relevant authorities to prevent such atrocities from happening again. It is the responsibility of the authorities to ensure the safety and security of all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or faith. We are very concerned with the failure or inaction on the part of government authorities to prevent the growing extremism and intolerance in Myanmar.

We are however encouraged by the growing community based efforts to take action, particularly, interfaith initiatives across Myanmar, including more recently in Mandalay. We see a great need to support and strengthen the efforts of local interfaith initiatives who strongly believe in living and sustaining religious and ethnic harmony.  We believe that it is in the interest of local communities to maintain peace for sustained development of their community.

Therefore, we call upon the Government of Myanmar to take immediate and effective measures to stop ongoing violence against all minorities especially Muslims who in recent times have borne the brunt of religious intolerance. We urge the government and all other relevant parties to work together to prevent extremism, to promote dialogue and reconciliation and ensure peace and security for all – irrespective of their ethnic and religious identity and affiliation.

We also invite faith based networks, within Myanmar and in the region, to work together to support local initiatives to build sustainable and long lasting peace.


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