On 28-29 March 2016, U Myint Swe, President of RfP Myanmar and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, Deputy Secretary General of RfP International, visited Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar, the scene of major inter-communal violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in 2012. Further sporadic outbreaks since then have left scores dead and over 140,000 displaced.
For the poor children and families from the Irrawaddy riverside in Mandalay, where people live in temporary tents, one good meal is a special Christmas gift. An interfaith group of woman comprised of Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus reached out to Mandalay’s poor on Dec. 20 to provide meals as a way of conveying the Christmas message of joy.
In the light of upcoming elections in Myanmar and amid reports of rising religious intolerance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Wednesday welcomed a joint statement by the leaders of four main religious groups in the country calling for tolerance and respect of religious freedom as essential conditions for every child to grow and develop to their full potential.
“There should be lawmakers in parliament who are reliable for the country,” Ashin Tilawkar Biwonsa said in an interview. ”There might be some people, especially Muslims, who are working on weakening Buddhism, so we need strong people for our religion.”
The UN’s rights envoy to Myanmar has expressed alarm over the enactment of a controversial population control law, the first of four race and religion bills considered to be discriminatory against ethnic and religious minorities.
Memories of Myanmar
A group of young Buddhist monks walk in rain to collect offerings in the poor neighbourhood of Yangon. Hundreds of orphans and homeless children throughout the country get their Buddhism teaching from these monasteries. (Saeed Khan/afp/getty images)
Yangon (AFP) – A top American diplomat Friday decried growing religious intolerance in Myanmar and warned the use of faith for political ends was “playing with fire” in a crunch election year for the former junta-run country.
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