Religions for Peace Second Advisory Forum in Myanmar Focuses on Religion in Nation-building

Religion in Nation Building(8 May 2019 | Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar) As the increased level of armed conflict in Rakhine State endangers the prospect of peace and further stalls the return of refugees from across the border with repercussions for the nationwide peace process, Religions for Peace (RfP) convened the Second Advisory Forum on National Reconciliation and Peace in Myanmar. The Religions for Peace Advisory Forum brought together over 200 representatives of religious organizations, Myanmar government and the military, parliament, ethnic organisations, foreign governments, UN agencies, international and national NGOs and civil society groups in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 7-8 May 2019.

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Religions for Peace Multi-religious Delegation’s Visit to Rakhine State

Representatives of Religions for Peace visited Sittwe and Maungdaw in the north of Rakhine State, Myanmar, where militant attacks in August 2017 triggered massive operations by the security personnel on the area’s Muslim communities and some 700,000 Muslims and hundreds of Hindus fled for Bangladesh. This region has also seen terrorist attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) accused of massacres of a 100 Hindus and attacks on other ethnic and religious minorities. While acknowledging the authorities’ duty to maintain law and order, the delegation expressed a concern that an excessive use of force could hamper the peace and reconciliation process.

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