16 Jul Meiktila Muslims oppose apartment plan

Written by Khaing Khaing Published in Myanmar Read 3070 times

Families in a camp identified by officials as a predominantly Buddhist IDP camp sheltering under plastic tarps at a primary school. Photo: U.S. Embassy Rangoon via Facebook

Some 600 displaced Muslim families from Meiktila have signaled their displeasure at the Mandalay Division government’s plan to rehabilitate into apartment buildings all persons whose houses were burned down in March’s communal violence.

Social work groups supporting the victims said that they sent a letter of objection to the President’s Office on July 2.

“Many of us are farmers who breed animals such as goats and horses. It’s not convenient to be housed in an apartment. Where will we keep our animals?” said displaced Meiktila resident Ma Phyu who is currently staying in a makeshift shelter outside the city.

Relief camp leader Myit Lwin said, “Most people have stated that they’ll be satisfied if they can rebuild their house on the site of their old home.”

When Mizzima contacted displaced Buddhist victims at makeshift camps, they said that most Buddhists agreed with the government’s plan of building apartments.

Displaced Buddhist Aung Myit said the local authorities had told them that the plan was to build three-storey buildings with six apartments per edifice.

Some 30,000 people lost their homes after communal riots broke out in Meiktila in late March following an altercation between a Buddhist shopper and a Muslim gold store owner.

On July 10 the curfew in Meiktila was reduced to 4am, and many observers say the situation is now calm and stable.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 20:56