Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thandwe Anti-Muslim Race Riots: Paradise Burning

(Translation of News articles from the Eleven Media and MMM on October 1& 2, 2013.)

A dead Muslim man in Thandwe.
Burmese Security-Police forces are working feverishly to contain ugly Muslim-Buddhist race riots in the famous beach town of Thandwe in Arakan after the riots broke out on last Saturday September-28 from the violent altercation between a Bengali-Muslim shop-owner and a Yakhine-Buddhist three-wheeler-taxi driver.

Meanwhile the race riots have spread like wildfire to nearby villages, and many people from both sides were killed and wounded. Both Muslim and Buddhist properties were destroyed and burned down as the riots intensified all over Thandwe Township.

Baw-di-gone Rubber Plantation Burning

On September 30 at about 7 in the evening two Buddhist workers from the Muslim-owned plantation about 3 miles from Thandwe’s Baw-di-gone burned their own caretaker hut and tried to flee.

They were chased and attacked by the Muslim villagers from Tha-byu-chai Muslim village. One Buddhist worker Soe Yan Naing was wounded in head and he was taken to Thandwe Hospital.

Fighting Between Sin-gaung Buddhists and Tha-byu-chai Muslims

Two wounded Yakhine-Buddhist men in Thandwe hospital.
Yakhine-Buddhist villagers from Sin-gaung Village and Bengali-Muslims from neighboring  Shwe-hlay-tha-byu-chai Village had been fighting each other since September-30. Both villages are about 16 miles north of Thandwe.

Tha-byu-chai Muslim village-group has three villages namely Lower Tha-byu-chai and Middle Tha-byu-chai and Taungbaw Tha-byu-chai. Altogether more than 3,000 Benglai-Muslims from Tha-byu-chai overshadow the neighbouring Yahine-Buddhist villages including the Sin-gaung village.

Troubles began by Tha-byu-chai Muslims surrounding the Sin-gaung Buddhist village and trying to burn down the village at about 4 in the morning of October-1. The Yakhine-Buddhists with the help from a handful of security-police there repulsed the Muslim attack.

Later in the morning more than 200 Sin-gaung villagers marched to Taungbaw Tha-byu-chai to attack the Muslims. They were also repulsed by Muslims there with the help of security-police arriving in time to quell the race riots. The police there shot and arrested three Buddhists along with their motorbikes.

Taungbaw Tha-byu-chai Muslim village Attacked by Buddhists

A dead Muslim man in Thandwe.
According to the notoriously-biased Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) based in Islamic Bangladesh more than 1,000 Yakhin-Buddhists from the fishing villages of Sin-gaung and Inn-dai-gyee staged an early-morning attack on the Bengali-Muslim village of Taungbaw Tha-byu-chai on October-1.

The attack was allegedly led by the local RNDP (Rakhine Nationalities Development Party) leader Ko Ko Lay and former police officer Soe Naung Oo from the Yakhine Social-welfare Network. The attack has been allegedly coordinated and planned at mid-day September-30 by Taunggup Network and Thandwe Ngapali Network and the 969-groups in Thandwe.

But the Muslim villagers managed to repel the Buddhist attack and the security police from Thandwe also arrived there in time to quell the riots. All together 6 Yakhin-Buddhists including three of their leaders were arrested by the police. Only two houses were burned down there then.

Bengali-Muslims In Thandwe Declares Jihad On Yakhine-Buddhists

A wounded Yakhine-Buddhist man in Thandwe hospital.
According to the Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) based in Islamic Bangladesh the Muslim Imams in Thandwe had issued Jihad declaration to the Muslim populace at 9 pm on October-1. The Jihad declaration also ordered all able Muslim men to gather armed with any available weapons at Ywar-thit-kone Ward in Thandwe.

The Bengali-Muslim Imams also explained that the unprovoked attacks by Yakhin-Buddhist political parties and various 969-gropus had forced their hands into defending themselves against the Yakhine-Buddhists.

Following is the list of Bengali-Muslim properties destroyed or set fire to by the Yakhine-Buddhists on Septemer-30 alone in Thandwe Town.

1. U Htun Tin’s house at No-6 Ward on West side of Baw-di-gone Dam (about 7 pm).
2. U Khin Maung Htun’s chicken farm at Dwarawaddy Ward Second Street (about 7:30pm).
3. U Ko Gyi Maung’s petrol shop at Dwarawaddy new ward (about 8:30 pm).
4. U Abdullah’s house at No-5 Ward (about 9:00 pm).

Buddhists are Now at Lin-tee Muslim Village

A dead Muslim man  in Thandwe.
According to the Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) more than 1,000 Yakhin-Buddhists were at the vicinity of Lin-tee Muslim village. Lin-tee’s Muslim population was swollen to the rim as the Muslims fleeing the nearby Tha-byu-chai viallages were now taking refuge at Lin-tee Muslim village which is only a mile away from Tha-byu-chai villages.

One local Muslim villager phoned and told the Bangladesh-based anti-Buddhist media MMM that all the Muslim men were armed and ready to repel the Buddhist attack while their elders and women and children were hiding inside the large village.

Pauk-taw Muslims fleeing from the Buddhist Mob

A wounded Yakhine-Buddhist man in Thandwe.
According to the Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) based in Bangladesh a Yakhine-Buddhist mob attacked and burned down more than 40 Muslim homes in small Pauk-taw bengali-Muslim village of 200 Muslim households after the Muslims there abandoned their homes and fled to larger and well-armed Muslim villages where they could fight back the Buddhist attackers.

Since the security forces were busy quelling the race riots in Thandwe and Tha-byu-chai Muslim villages the Lin-thee Muslim Village was basically abandoned to the mercy of Yakhine-Buddhist attackers.

Tha-byu-chai Mosque and Arabi-Madrassa completely destroyed

According to Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) based in Bangladesh more than 70 Muslim houses and the mosque and the Arabi-madrassa in large Muslim village of Than-byu-chai were completely destroyed by the attacking Yalkhine-Buddhists.

A dead Muslim woman in Thandwe.
Following is the list of 6 Muslims killed in Tha-byu-chai village and one from nearby Kyee-gan-ye Muslim village.

1. Daw Aye Kyi (sword wounds).
2. U Abdul Miya (sword wounds).
3. U Abdul Smar (sword wounds).
4. U Khin Hlaing (burned).
5. U I-sut (sword wounds).
6. U Myint Lwin (a) Little Frog (gunshot wounds).
7. U Mar Yee (killed in Kyee-gan-ye).

All the bodies of the dead Muslims except U Mar Yee were taken to Thandwe and buried at Thadwe Muslim Cemetery where ten Muslims brutally killed in Taunggup last year were also buried. Mar Yee’s corpse is still lying at the road-side spot where he was killed yesterday.

Mae-gyun Muslim Village Burnt Down by Buddhists

According to the Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) more than 1,000 Yakhin-Buddhists from the nearby Yakhin-Buddhist villages have completely burned down ten Muslim houses in the Me-gyun Muslim Village of Thandwe Township.

A burnt-out Nuslim man in Thandwe.
Following is the list of ten Muslim homeowners whose houses were destroyed by the Buddhist fire.

1. Daw Wa Zee.
2. Daw Khin Tint.
3. U Myint Wai (village administrator).
4. U Khin Aung.
5. U Nga Ni Yay.
6. U Ibrahim.
7. U Aung San Min.
8. U Tin Nyunt.
9. U Win Htun.
10. U Thein Lwin.

The Buddhist mob came in from the Arn-daw side at about 4:30 pm on October-1 and they are still burning the Muslim houses by 6 pm tonight.

Buddhist Travellers Attacked By Bengali-Muslims At Shwe-hlay

A wounded Yakhine-Buddhist.
A large mob of Bengali-Muslims from Shwe-hlay Bengali-Muslim village at about 10 miles north of Thandwe stopped and brutally attacked the small convoy of three motorcycle taxis carrying 6 Yakhine-Buddhists from Taunggup at Shwe-hlay on Thandwe-Taunggup Road.

One young Yakhine-Buddhist woman was missing presumed gang-raped and dead. And four Yakhine-Buddhist men were seriously wounded by the Bengali-Muslims and now at Thandwe Hospital. Anotehr Yakhine-Buddhist man was also missing presumed dead.

"Three bikes and six people on their way from Taunggup to Thandwe were cut down by Bengalis at Shwe-hlay. Four are now at Thandwe Hospital. Thaung Shwe from Taunggup's Thin-gan-chay village, Yan Naing from Thandwe's Arn-daw Ward, Lin LIn Htun from Thandwe's Zee-phyu-gone, and Mya Thein from Kyauk Phyu. 

One missing is a young woman and another one missing also is Ko Baw Dar from Taunggup. Yan Naing got his lung punctured by a Muslim sword. Lin Lin Htun and Mya Thein right now are in emergency-operation theater. I myself and some others brought them from Shwe Hlay Clinic this afternoon at four. The attack site was so close to the Clinic, they were lucky. We got back to Thandwe Hospital at about 6 this afternoon," said U Phoe Waing the Chairman of Social Welfare Association.
A wounded Yakhine-Buddhist cycle-taxi man in Thandwe Hospital.
969-Activitists roaming on Motorbikes in Thandwe

Wounded Yakhine-Buddhist men.
According to the Myanmar Muslim Media (MMM) hundreds and hundreds of armed-969-activitists were roaming on their motorbikes in Thandwe. The security-police forces have basically let them roam freely despite the Act-144 and 6pm-tyo-6am curfew, complained the frightened locals.

The authorities from the local and state government are now meeting constantly with the influential Yakhine-Buddhist leaders of local 969 movement and ruling RNDP (Rakhine Nationalities Development Party) to quell the riots and bring back the situation under control.

Amidst the tight security every house in Thandwe appaears to be flying the Buddhist flags high. Every vehicles even the sidecars were flying colorful Buddhist flags as well to show the Buddhist solidarity to the Muslims. 

The Thandwe town now is tightly sealed off by the armed-Buddhist-vigilantes together with Burmese Security-Police forces. Only way in and out of Thadwe now is by airplane only as Thandwe airport the gateway to the world-famous Ngapali Beach is still open to the outside world.
(Thandwe is the only town with large Bengali-Muslim population left intact in whole Arakan. Almost 40% of total population in Thandwe Town the Bengali-Muslims there had been prospering mainly because of booming businesses from the famous Ngapali Beach where most of the hotels and resorts are owned and operated by the Muslims. 

Since Bengali-Muslims everywhere else in Arakan were driven out of most Arakan towns during last year race-riots, the Yakhine-Buddhist nationalists have been wishing for more riots in Thandwe. 

Now the Muslims in Thandwe themselves seem to have fulfilled Yakhine-Buddhist nationalists' wishes. Thandwe could become another Meikhtilar where Muslim's economic success led to their destruction in the hands of majority Burmese-Buddhists.)
US Embassy's Press Release condemning Buddhist violence against Muslims in Thandwe.

Related posts at following links:
Thandwe Burning again after Muslim Ripped Buddhist Flag
Thandwe Burning after Muslims Gang-raped Buddhist Girl