Myanmar’s Buddhist Leaders Must Take a Stand Against Ethnic Cleansing

In a public address on September 19, Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, saying she is “deeply concerned” about those caught in the conflict, but Myanmar’s government needs time to investigate “what the real problems are” in Rakhine state.

With hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing their homes in Myanmar, more than 110 Buddhist teachers and community leaders have signed a letter calling on Myanmar’s Buddhist leaders take action to end the crisis.

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Myanmar: Calls for Interfaith Dialogue to achieve Peace and Harmony

Myanmar National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun today called for interfaith dialogue to promote peace and harmony. Speaking at the Dialogue for Peace, Harmony, and Security currently underway in Yangon, the NSA advisor stated: “In a 2003 UN General Assembly resolution, the nations of the world affirmed that ‘inter-religious dialogue is an integral part of the efforts to translate shared values into action.”

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BURMA: Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Pwint Phyu Latt & Zaw Zaw Latt Released

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed satisfaction that the government of Burma has released prisoners of conscience Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt. They were released along with more than 250 other prisoners Burma’s government freed as part of a presidential amnesty.

USCIRF Vice Chairman Daniel Mark, who has advocated on behalf of Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt, stated that he “welcomed this long-overdue step by Burma’s government. Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt, both Muslim, were wrongfully imprisoned for their interfaith activities. Although I welcome and applaud their release, the fact remains that they never should have been imprisoned in the first place. I hope their release signals a more positive trajectory for the freedom of religion or belief in Burma.”

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Vatican and Myanmar Establish Diplomatic Relations

The Holy See (Vatican) and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) are establishing bilateral diplomatic relations, announced a statement by the Holy See Press Office. Pope Francis received the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, in a private audience the morning of Thursday, May 4, 2017.

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Religions for Peace Advances Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar

myanmar
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.

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Interfaith group provides Christmas meals to Myanmar’s poor




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.

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Myanmar: UNICEF hails joint interfaith declaration seeking tolerance



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.

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Myanmar: Anti-Muslim Buddhist Group Gains Political Clout




“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.”

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