Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental human rights organization released satellite images of Meiktila, a city in central Myanmar. According to reports, more than eight hundred houses have been burnt down during the ongoing unrest between Buddhists and the Muslim minority.
The New York based organization released satellite images of the affected area, comparing pictures from December to the pictures taken a week after the horrifying incident on March 20, 2013.
Atrocities against Muslims have escalated into genocide in Myanmar in the past few years. It has been in the news but didn't receive proper media coverage. The woes of the Rohingya people, a Muslim community in a Buddhist-majority country, were not addressed in the way they should have been despite of the fact that the Rohingya have been declared as one of the most persecuted communities of the world by the United Nations.
The government of Myanmar was urged by the Human Rights Watch to take notice of the reckless killings and torching of neighborhoods and to deal with the root cause of the conflict that has endangered the very existence of the Muslim community in the country. HRW also want the authorities to address the police forces who have failed to handle the situation so far.
In an analysis, the human rights group also concluded that almost “828 homes were destroyed and 35 buildings severely damaged and mobs torched down an area covering 60.5 acres” during the riots and 12,846 people fled. The tragedy is being compared to a similar incident that occurred last year in Rakhine State between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims which caused bloodshed and displaced 125,000 people.
HRW added in its report, “Some well-known members of the Buddhist monkhood, or Sangha, have given sermons and distributed anti-Muslim tracts and directives that call on Buddhist residents to boycott Muslim businesses and shun contact with Muslim communities.”
There are many other examples which confirm the fact that minorities, not only in Myanmar, but in many other countries of the world, have been treated unfairly and have faced similar atrocities. The motivation behind these conflicts varies but in a bulk of cases, the ‘difference in religious sentiment’ has always been the root cause.
Just last month, a Christian-minority neighborhood in Pakistan was burnt down by Muslim extremists over the allegations of blasphemy. A whole lot of houses were torched down and people’s livelihood was completely destroyed. During the Rwandan (ethnic) genocide in 1994, approximately 500,000 people were slaughtered. Such has been the fate of minorities all over the world.