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Army controlled Burmese Government shows gross Anti-Christian and Anti-Muslim discrimination October 8, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-Christian, Card, Christian, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Muslim, Religion.
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While strongly refuting the figures provided by Burmese junta’s on the religious beliefs of the Burmese population, The National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR – exile) USA, pointed out that Muslim population in Burma is approximately 20 percent of the county’s total population, which amounts to 7 to 10 million people of the country.Meanwhile the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), Burma in its population statistics report recorded that almost 90 percent of Burma’s population are Buddhist, 6 percent are Christians and 4 percent Muslims. NDPHR in its statement contradicted the Burma Government’s figures and said, “Unfortunately, this statistics is flawed and has grossly under estimated the non-Buddhist proportion of the population.”

“The report above therefore needs to be amended to better reflect the demography of the non-Buddhist population in Burma,” NDPHR urged.

Given below is the full text of the statement released by the Central Executive Committee of The National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR – exile) USA:

The National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR – exile) USA (HQ) welcomes the International Religious Freedom Report 2006 on Burma which was released on September 15, 2006 by the Bureau of Democracy, Human rights, and Labor of the US State Department. The report reveals pertinent information on various religious communities, (including the situation of democracy and human rights as practiced) in various countries of the world.

The statistics on the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), Burma recorded that almost 90 percent of Burma’s population are Buddhist, 6 percent are Christians and 4 percent are Muslims. Unfortunately, this statistics is flawed and has grossly under estimated the non-Buddhist proportion of the population. For instance, the Muslim population in Burma is approximately 20 percent and accounts for 7 to 10 million people of the country. The report above therefore needs to be amended to better reflect the demography of the non-Buddhist population in Burma.


The report has also stated that the dominant religion of Rohingya minority practice Islam widely in Arakan, while Burmans, Indians, and ethnic Bengali practice in Rangoon, Irrawaddy, and Mandalay Divisions.

Burma has been ruled since 1962 coup detat by highly authoritarian military regimes, and since 1988, when armed forces brutally suppressed massive pro-democracy demonstrations, the junta composed of senior military officers, has ruled by decree without constitution or legislative process. The first constitution of Burma, promulgated in 1947 permitted both legislative and administrative restrictions on religious freedom, stating that “The national races shall enjoy the freedom to profess their religion provided that the enjoyment of any such freedom does not offend the laws or the public interest.” However, People from Burma, particularly Muslim and Christian groups do not enjoy the freedoms guaranteed under the Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states the all people have the right to practice according to their religious choice.

The military government systematically restricted efforts by Buddhist clergy to promote human rights and political freedom. It has discouraged and prohibited minority religions from constructing new places of worship, and it has coercively promoted Buddhism over other religions, particularly in ethnic minority areas.

The military government has also imposed restrictions on the religious freedom of both Christian and Muslim groups in Burma. Christian and Muslim groups continue to experience discrimination by the State and face growing difficulties in obtaining permission to repair existing Churches/Mosques or build new ones in most regions. Christian persecution is on the rise in Burma. Christian activities in the Churches and the practices of their faith are being obstructed by any possible means despite Burma being a country that has claimed the right to freedom of religion.

Similarly, Muslims group in Burma has been regularly denied the right to freedom of religion. They have also been subject to various forms of persecution and discrimination.

There were credible reports that in early 1999 anti-Islamic booklets were widely distributed throughout the country through the USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association), a SPDC sponsored mass organization. Amid widespread discriminations and religious freedom violations by the SPDC military regimes, Christians among the ethnic Karen, Karenni, Chin and Kachin nationalities and Muslim Rohingyas suffer particularly harsh persecution. Numerous mosques and Muslim religious schools have been destroyed in Northern Arakan State and Central Burma since 1962 under the military rule. It is strictly forbidden to build new ones, even renovating or repairing a mosque is forbidden nowadays.

The military government also confiscated mosques and Muslim religious schools to make administrative buildings of them. Muslim monuments and historical sites are being destroyed. The military authorities meanwhile limit the expression of Muslim religion as much as possible. This form of discrimination can go to the extreme.

There were flare-ups of Muslim-Buddhist violence during the period covered by this report. Persistent social tensions remained between the Buddhist majority and the Christian and Muslim minorities, largely due to old British colonial and contemporary military government preferences.

In this regards, the NDPHR (exile) USA (HQ) would like to express its strong support to the policy of the US Government as stated in the report. We therefore, call upon the international community to support this initiative drawn by the US to bring up a more realistic assessment of the regime conduct against religious minorities, and to increase pressure for immediately democratic reforms in Burma.

The National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) was a democratic and human rights organization of the people of Burma and it gained a membership in Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP) mainly, led by democratic opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). Currently, NDPHR (exile) is struggling for the restoration of democracy, human rights, peace and equal justice in Burma through the genuine reconciliation with other Burmese democratic opposition groups as well.

Source: AsianTribune.com

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