Charges pressed for holding Ramadan prayers in Yangon

 

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Desk Report: June 3, 2016

Police have pressed charges against three people in the Thekata township of Yangon for holding Ramadan prayers in the streets on Wednesday, according to AFP. 

Around 50 Muslim had gathered in the streets to pray as the religious school previously used for the purpose was closed down by Buddhist nationalists backed by security forces in late April.   

Following the incident, local authorities issued a statement saying the prayers threatened the stability and rule of law in the Muslim majority township of Thekata.

Muslim activists allege the Tatmadaw is using Buddhist nationalists as a pawn for fomenting releigios tensions and strengthening their rule by creating an artificial security threat. Initiatives by the government to curb hate speech among Buddhist nationalists have been slammed as an eyewash for sake of the international community and an initiative by the Tatmadaw to escape identification as the producer and director of violence against the Muslim community.  

The Tatmadaw has long relied on an intolerant strain of Theravada Buddhism to strengthen their rule and justify gruesome atrocities against Muslims. 

However, this time, NLD activists had also joined the hardliners in closing down the schools where prayers used to take place.