Polices inspected mosques in SaGaing

9th July,2014
Reported by Thuta
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Yesterday morning, security forces inspected mosques in Sa Gaing and took photos. Locals told M-Media that Colonel Kyi Naing from Myon Ywar based Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs, Police chief and polices from Sa Gaing town, Sa Gaing division inspected 5 mosques and asked management committee members of mosques what they want to know.

A local resident said “They came at about 10 am yesterday morning. One person introduced himself as Colonel Kyi Naing from Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs. His office is based in Myon Ywar town. Others are police chief and polices. They said they want to inspect the mosque for security reason. First they were alone, not with mosque’s management committee. They took photos of the mosque so people living near the mosque went to them. Only then, we knew that they are government officers. They also took photos of nearby area and roads. After a while, mosque’s management committee arrived. Then they went into the mosque. When they entered, everyone took off their shoes except Colonel Kyi Naing. He wore shoes until before he entered into the prayer space. Just before he entered the prayer area, someone told him to take off shoes so he took off shoes and said he did not notice he has to take off shoes.”

The photographers took photos of the mosque and Colonel Kyi Naing asked mosque’s management about the Imam of the mosque such as name, birth place, race and whether he is mixed blood. Management replied that Imam is a Myanmar Muslim and his ancestors are Myanmar Muslims. They explained him about the history of Myanmar Muslims.

“They came here to check the situation of the mosque. They asked whether there is any criminal case connected to recent violence. We don’t have any problem in our mosque. They also asked about the relationship with non-Muslims in the area. People from different religions have been living harmoniously in our ward. Buddhist monastery is next to Mosque. We have been living peacefully for centuries. They told us that they came here because they are worried. They said it is not easy to build the peaceful atmosphere and they can’t let such a peaceful and harmonious city destroy in intolerance and hatred,” retold a local.

Colonel Kyi Naing and his group told Muslim not to be worried so much and not to be skeptical.

Muslims in Sa Gaing are still worrying although they were told not to be worried. Muslims are trying to be optimistic but they are difficult to suppress their concerns that instigation of anti-Muslim hatred leading to deadly crisis can happen anytime.

Muslims were more anxious yesterday night when the rumor spread that people gathering in Pa Du village to attack 3 mosques in Sa Gaing town. Sa Gaing residents expressed their wishes that they want the government, civil societies and interfaith groups to help maintaining stability and peace of their town amidst rumors of violence.


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