Yangon Muslims face risk of genocide

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National Democratic Party for Development of Myanmar SG Naeem: National Democratic Party for Development of Myanmar SG Naeem: “We are concerned that what has been taking place in Arakan may spread to Yangon”

ANKARA – If violence aimed at Rohingya and other Muslims spreads to other regions, then 10 million Muslims would be under threat, said Muhammed Naeem, chairman of Foreign Relations Department and 2nd Secretary General of National Democratic Party for Development of Myanmar.

Naeem told the AA reporter on the phone that Buddhist monks were very influential throughout Myanmar and they had a voice in many social events. Naeem who lives in Yangon in lower Myanmar said they faced attacks in the villages of Yangon almost every day.

“We face the risk of genocide. We are concerned that what has been done to the the Muslims in Arakan may spread to Yangon. More than ten percent of Myanmar’s population is Muslim. There are Muslims in every region of Myanmar. At least 10 million Muslims live in Mynmar. The government can solve the problems if they want. However they are trying to denationalize us. They claim that we came to the country illegally from Bangladesh,” said Naeem.

Stating that they had been under pressure for a long time, Naeem said they did not want an armed struggle and they were open to peace negotiations.

Speaking to the AA reporter, Said Demir, the Coordinator of Myanmar for The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), said that each Muslim in the region thought that they would be the next to get killed.

“If violence spreads to Yangon, it means genocide. I believe it would spread. The government tolerates all the violence. Those who massacre innocent people are not punished. Mosques, shops are torched. Buddhists have become more and more aggressive as they are not punished,” said Demir.

Eyup Ural who is in charge of IHH Myanmar Desk said China and US were the two actors in the region, adding that they did not put any effort to end violence.

“International community remains silent. There is no obstacle in front of the genocide to grow bigger and bigger,” Ural added.

Reporting by Ali Ozturk

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

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