facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Address discrimination, Myanmar told

March 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 29 (UPI) -- Prejudice and discrimination may be inciting religious violence in central Myanmar, a U.N. special envoy on the country's rights situation said.

Myanmar President Thein Sein blamed "political opportunists and religious extremists" for violence between Buddhists and the Muslim minority in the country. The violence has claimed at least 40 lives since March 20.

Thein Sein was quoted by regional newspaper The Irrawaddy as saying he would use force "as a last resort" to quell the violence.

U.N. special envoy on human rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said Myanmar needs to take swift action to keep the conflict from spreading and undermining reforms.

"Tackling discrimination is fundamental to establishing the rule of law and impunity for acts of violence and discrimination must no longer be tolerated," Quintana said in a statement.

Myanmar earned praise for political reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Human rights groups say the latest outbreak of violence is jeopardizing those efforts, however.

Quintana said discrimination against the Muslim minority was fueling tensions from similar conflicts last year in Rakhine, which left nearly 200 people dead.

Myanmar imposed a state of emergency over parts of the Mandalay region last week in response to the conflict. The United Nations estimates at least 12,000 are displaced by violence.

Topics: Thein Sein
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Shark attacks surfer at Santa Cruz beach Shark attacks surfer at Santa Cruz beach
2
Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine
3
Ohio school bus driver killed saving girl Ohio school bus driver killed saving girl
4
The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program
5
Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no' Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no'
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback