Thursday, June 13, 2013

Malaysia detains Mynamar nationals after violence

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police said Thursday they had detained more than 900 Myanmar nationals in a security sweep after at least two were killed last week in clashes believed to be linked to sectarian violence back home.

The two dead were likely Myanmar Buddhists killed during a spate of violent incidents in Kuala Lumpur since May 30, said Amar Singh Ishar Singh, the Malaysian capital’s deputy police chief.

He added that two other people were in critical condition and the attacks were “believed to be the result of violence in Myanmar.”

“The operation is to send a clear message to stop this nonsense and not bring the violence over to Malaysia,” he told AFP.

He gave no details on the attacks but Malaysian media reports — which said as many as four may have died — have suggested Buddhists came under attack from their Muslim countrymen seeking vengeance over violence back in Myanmar.

Deadly sectarian strife pitting Myanmar’s majority Buddhists against the Muslim ethnic Rohingya minority has flared since last year in the country’s western state of Rakhine.

Muslim-majority Malaysia says it is home to more than 80,000 Myanmar nationals, many of them Rohingya fleeing alleged persecution by Myanmar’s Buddhist authorities and, more recently, the Rakhine violence.

Amar said more than 250 of those detained in Malaysia were handed over to immigration authorities as they lacked proper documentation.

The rest were released and no formal arrests have yet been made as investigations continue, he said.

Myanmar on Tuesday called on Malaysia to take action against those responsible for the attacks and protect Myanmar citizens.

U Maung Hla, who heads the Burma Refugee Organization in Malaysia, said violence between exiled Myanmar communities here was not uncommon and was “sometimes due to religion.”
in Mrauk-U township in western Rakhine state said three women died in the clash Tuesday in Parein village. The women and others were defying efforts to relocate them from the housing in which they have been living since their original homes were burned by Buddhists in a wave of sectarian clashes last year.

The officer from the Special Branch political police, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to release information, said Wednesday that six villagers were injured in the clash.

A website covering Rohingya news, Rohingya Blogger, said four women were shot dead and five other villagers wounded in the confrontation, which broke out when workers from another township came to unload wood to build new dwellings. It said that when Parein villagers sought to stop the unloading, they began quarreling with police, who opened fire on them.
The police officer said some in the Rohingya crowd carried knives, sticks and slingshots. — Agencies