Islamabad: Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday wrote a letter to Myanmar President Thein Sein and expressed concern over the killings of Muslims in the country.
According to Presidential spokesman Farhat Ullah Babar, the president demanded Myanmar government to immediately stop attacks on Muslim minority in the country.
Since 42 people were killed in violence that erupted in Meikhtila town on March 20, unrest led by hardline Buddhists has spread to at least 10 other towns and villages in central Myanmar, with the latest incidents only a two-hour drive from the commercial capital, Yangon.
The crowds are fired up by anti-Muslim rhetoric, spread by telephone and social media networks such as Facebook, from monks preaching about a so-called “969 movement”.
The number is derived from Buddhism – the three numbers refer to various attributes of the Buddha, his teachings and the monkhood – but it has come to represent a radical form of anti-Islamic nationalism which urges Buddhists to boycott Muslim-run shops and services.
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, but about 5 percent of its 60 million people are Muslims. There are large Muslim communities in Yangon, Mandalay and towns across Myanmar’s heartland.