Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has blamed what she described as a ‘climate of fear’ for increasing tensions between Muslims and Buddhists. Asked about the fate of 140,000 Muslims who have been forced to leave their homes, she said that many Buddhists had also fled Burma.
According to the BBC, Suu Kyi denied that Muslims had been subjected to ethnic cleansing. She has been criticized for not defending Muslims since she emerged from house arrest two years ago. Over the past two years, violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims has broken out in the state of Rakhine. There have also been clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in central Burma.
Muslims have been the worst sufferers of the violence, with hundreds killed, often by mobs armed with knives and sticks, the report said. Suu Kyi said tensions had also been inflamed by a worldwide perception that global Muslim power was ‘very great’. She said that it was down to the government to bring an end to the violence in the country. Suu Kyi said that the effective implementation of the rule of law was essential, it added.