Burma President calls for end to sectarian violence
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Burma President calls for end to sectarian violence

Burma President U Thein Sein has urged the Interfaith Friendship Group and Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to cooperate with the government to help end the conflict the two communities in the country, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported today.

He insisted that the conflict between Buddhists and Muslims is being exaggerated and that it could damage the international image of the country and its reforms.

The constitution of the country grants protection to the four major religions including Islam, said Thein Sein, adding that racial discrimination has no place in the country, he added.

He urged the group to work in partnership with the government. The first priority is the rehabilitation of the areas where the conflicts broke out, he said. According to him, his government has already spent over 6 billion kyats (US$6.1 million) on delivering aid to over 100,000 victims in cooperation with the international organizations.

He said action had been taken against the criminals involved in the conflicts and investigations would continue.

The second priority task is to prevent a repeat of such conflicts and the Interfaith Friendship Group is required to be part of the task to form region/state/township-level groups. He called on Myanmar Human Rights Commission to develop human rights education to increase the public’s awareness of their rights.

The third priority, he said, is to work towards a resolution on the origin of the conflict.