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Myanmar: Marketing a Massacre

19 Oct

Two years ago, in a village just north of the town of Sittwe in western Myanmar, I met a young man who spoke of a friendship with a Muslim boy that was no longer. Over several days in June 2012, that village and others nearby in Rakhine State had served as a wellspring for mobs of Buddhists who, armed with sticks, machetes, and cans of gasoline, laid waste to a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in the center of Sittwe.The young man, in his mid-twenties when we met, had been away when the attack happened. But he knew many of his neighbors had boarded the buses that shuttled the mobs into Sittwe, where they razed Muslim homes and sent thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to displacement camps, and he sympathized with their decision to do so. His onetime friend had long since stopped coming to the village, and he had no wish to rekindle the relationship. I asked why.“His blood is different,” he said of the Rohingya boy, who used to sell rice at the local market, and who would on occasion stay over at the man’s house. “I don’t think he is a bad person, but even though he’s not bad, his ethnicity is bad. The group is bad.”

Source: Myanmar: Marketing a Massacre | by Francis Wade | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2017 in Asia

 

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