Burma Times Correspondent: January 19, 2015
President Thein Sein has acknowledged the dangers of religious extremism in the country. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times, he admitted the problematic presence of religious extremists when the newspaper questioned him about the rise of violent Buddhist nationalism.
The president did not however name any particular religion or group. The Buddhist groups responsible for violence against Muslims are closely allied to the government.
His comments come after the government of Burma faces growing international pressure over its treatment of Muslim minorities.
Thein Sein pointed out that there was religious tolerance in the country and the holy places of different religions stand side by side in the commercial capital Yangon.
While acknowledging the rise of religious extremism, the president claimed that the government was acting to counter their influence.
He also claimed that clam has been restored to the Arakan because of the government’s strong security measures. However he said that it would require some time before the two communities can live side by side because of general mistrust.
Currently the million strong Rohingya population are prevented from leaving their refugee camps or designated villages by the security forces presumably for their own security. The humanitarian situation in the Rohingya zones is appalling.
For more info see http://burmatimes.net/thein-sein-condemns-religious-extremism/