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Myanmar’s Spreading Unrest

by Joshua Kurlantzick
April 10, 2013

An Islamic school, a victim of ethnic violence, is seen damaged in Meikhtila, Myanmar, on March 26, 2013. An Islamic school, a victim of ethnic violence, is seen damaged in Meikhtila, Myanmar, on March 26, 2013. (Minzayar/Courtesy Reuters)


In recent weeks, the Buddhist-Muslim violence that last year seemed mostly confined to Rakhine State has been spreading across Myanmar, even entering Yangon and other large cities. Muslim leaders in some parts of the country are warning Myanmar’s Muslims not to leave their homes, while many mosques and shops owned by Muslims have shut their doors for now.

The danger is that, in the vacuum created by the end of Myanmar’s highly repressive state three years ago—and abetted by a climate of hateful speech and xenophobia on Myanmar’s mushrooming Internet—these episodes of interreligious and interethnic violence are going to expand, consuming the country in chaotic violence before it has time to build democratic institutions and a capable police force. In a new CFR Expert Brief, I analyze Myanmar’s rising ethnic violence and offer prescriptions for cooling today’s violence. Read it here.

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  • Posted by Thangleader

    The difficulty for Myanmar and its neighbor countries is maintain a quality of stability socio-economic. The reducing of senior officials “general” instead of broadening the participation of private sector creating the multi-color elements of a country after dozens years under junta’s control.

    Other reason creating the unrest under way maybe coming from abroad when someone feel the “losing of influence” clearer when a renaissance of this country. The opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had got some good outcome shortly and within large area in reality pushed the internal and external elements must to do something for Myanmar unification process could be derailed or become an undetermined process with the unclear results (!?).

    So, someone want to fuel the internal conflict, create some hiccup … by the religion reasons are the short manner to gain these unstable impacts. Of course, the masterminders for Myanmar know how they should do but they also understand there are some unexpected risky and what’s expensive cost and long-road to their coming date.

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