-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Physicians for Human Rights has released a report (pdf) detailing their investigation of Buddhist terrorists who burned Muslim houses and killed Muslim students in the town of Meiktila in central Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The victims, who attended the Mingalar Zayyone Islamic boarding school, included one boy who was decapitated and another who was set on fire. One Buddhist monk, in his red saffron robe, told the mob to wait until the Muslims leave the Buddhist part of town before killing them, “otherwise the Kalar’s ghosts will come here.” (Kalar means “foreigner” and is used as an anti-Muslim slur.)
On the evening of 20 March 2013 a mob of Buddhists, angered by – it doesn’t really matter, nothing could justify their actions – marched to the school. The seven teachers and 120 students fled into a nearby bog to hide in small groups in the tall grass. They remained standing in water-logged mud, filled with snakes, until about 4 am when a car’s headlights illuminated a boy hiding in the grass. The mob descended into the weeds and killed two boys. The other students fled to a nearby residential compound.
Inside the compound the students took refuge in four small buildings. The mob soon surrounded the compound and started throwing rocks and “fire sticks,” pieces of wood wrapped in cloth soaked in gasoline and then ignited. Police stood by on a nearby embankment and watched the attack. Onlookers cheered the mob.
At 8 am, approximately 15 to 20 riot police arrived and encircled the compound calling for those inside to come out with their hands on their heads. The teachers and students left the compound and went past the mob who threw bricks and clubbed the students. The riot police did not intervene to prevent the beatings. As the students neared the Muslim part of town, hundreds of people, including 10 monks, would not let them pass. When one of the boys moved to protect an elderly woman who was being beaten with a bamboo stick, one of the mob took his long knife and sliced the boy’s neck and then sliced off the boy’s face with a second blow.
In another incident, one of the students was attacked by two men. The first used a sword to open a gash in the student’s thigh. The second man poured gasoline on the bleeding wound and set it on fire. A 10-year-old student was beaten with bamboo poles and gasoline was poured on him and set on fire.
Member of Parliment Win Htein said the police commissioner and district commissioner were present along with 200 other police and none did anything to stop the massacre.
During the three day period, 1500 Muslim homes were burned, more that a dozen mosques and three madrasas were destroyed, and more that 100 people, Muslims, were killed.
TIME International recently feature a cover story about Buddhist monk, Ashin Wirathu, and reported that “violence is being fanned by extremist Buddhist monks, who preach a dangerous form of religious chauvinism to their followers.” This issue has been banned in Myanmar.