Rangoon school fire: Imam probed for possible negligence
A Burmese imam is being investigated for possible negligence after 13 children died in a fire at a Muslim school in Rangoon, police said.
Authorities were also quizzing a Muslim teacher in the case, reports said.
Police earlier blamed an electrical fault for the blaze. Most of the children escaped unharmed.
Riot police were deployed to the area as people gathered, concerned that the fire was linked to recent communal violence in other parts of the country.
At least 40 people have been killed since 20 March in the attacks which have mainly targeted minority Muslims.The school's imam and a Muslim teacher were being investigated but no arrests had been made so far, Rangoon police chief Win Naing told the AP news agency.
Buddhist Nationalism in Burma
Genocidal Buddhists?: An Interview with Burmese Dissident Maung Zarni
Posted by Alex Caring-Lobel
In 2007, inspiring images of Burmese Buddhist monks leading their compatriots in demonstrations of civil resistance flooded the Western media. Just five years after the series of protests curiously referred to as the “Saffron Revolution” (Burmese monks wear maroon robes, not saffron-colored ones), Buddhist-led violence erupted in the western Rakhine state. Following a monk-led campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority of Burma, recognized by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, reports of rioting, killing, and the blocking of humanitarian aid to the Rohingya surfaced here and there in the media, devoid of the enthusiasm that the Burmese monks attracted back in 2007.
Myanmar’s displaced Rohingya face rains threat: UN
YANGON: Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in squalid, flood-prone camps in western Myanmar after fleeing communal unrest face “imminent danger” from looming monsoon rains, the UN warned on Friday.
An estimated 125,000 Rohingya and other Muslims have languished in insanitary camps since violence flared last year with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, leaving scores dead and whole neighbourhoods in ruins.
They “are now in imminent danger of yet another tragedy when the monsoon rains hit.... We must act immediately to prevent a predictable tragedy,” said John Ging of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
With the monsoon expected to start in May, Ging called on the government to release new land for camps and to help rebuild shattered community relations, highlighted by the deadly outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in central Myanmar this month.
“The gravity and urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. Community and religious leaders also have a major role in promoting a culture of peace and mutual respect in multicultural and multi-ethnic Myanmar,” he added.
Myanmar says govt not to blame for religious riots
The U.N. official, Tomas Ojea Quintana, urged Myanmar's government on Friday to investigate allegations that security forces watched as Buddhist mobs attacked Muslims. He also said the government needed to do more to protect the country's Muslims.
Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut said on his Facebook page Saturday that he "strongly rejected" the comments by Quintana, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar.Ye Htut, who is also the presidential spokesman, wrote that it was "saddening that Mr. Quintana made his comments based on hearsay without assessing the situation on the ground."
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