Buddhist nationalists stop Muslim ceremony in Yangon

January 9, 2017

Scores of saffron clad Buddhist nationalists in Yangon forced Muslim organisers to stop a ceremony honouring the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Shortly after the ceremony started on Sunday, the nationalists marched into the programme forcing the Muslims to cease their activities.

Security personal called to the scene refused to intervene.

"We have celebrated this festival for my whole life. Now this seems like an attack on freedom of religion," Kyaw Nyein, secretary of the Ulama Islam organisation, told AFP.

"The monks tried to stop the ceremony without saying what we had done wrong... Why aren't authorities taking action?"

Anti Muslim sentiments have gathered steam in Myanmar as Buddhist nationalists belonging to the Ma Ba Tha movement have gone on the offensive against the minority community and have received full support of the Tatmadaw which continues to wield powerful influence beneath the scene.

While Arakan state has been the hub of anti Muslim ethnic cleansing, other Muslim communities are being frequently targeted in what increasingly looks like a widening offensive.