The above photos were taken on December 5th 2012 by a community member trained by KHRG. The photo on the left shows the village road and Muslim mosque in T--- village, Ta Kreh Township, Hpa-an District. The photo on the right shows three Muslim villagers who attend this mosque, some of whom were interviewed by the community member, during which they explained that they feel helpless, as the events happening in Rakhine State and Mandalay Division also affect T--- villagers. They explained that they are afraid to buy things from Karen people and that Karen people now cannot sell things to the Muslim community. These villagers also informed the community member that they had lived among the Karen people their entire lives, during which no major problems occurred, however, they are now afraid that problems similar to those, which occurred between Christians and Buddhists in the past, will occur between Muslim and Buddhist villagers; finally, they believe that Burmese people are instigating these problems. [Photos: KHRG]
The above photos were taken on December 7th 2012 by a community member, and show a monk and villagers sitting on the grounds of the M--- village monastery in Noh Kay village tract, T’Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District. According to the community member who took these photos, the M--- Monastery monks called villagers from P---, A---, W--- and M--- villages to attend this December 7th meeting. During the meeting, attended by 41 villagers, the monk read a letter outlining the forms of unacceptable conduct for Buddhist villagers in their relations with Muslim villagers; villagers were informed by the monk that they had to follow the instructions in the letter, and were told that if they did not follow the four points, they would be fined and charged; finally, the monk asked the villagers if they understood or not. [Photos:KHRG]
Karen State, Hpa-an Town
Four Rules of the “Group for Maintaining and Protecting the Mission of Different religious sects”
1. The house, plantations and farmland of the ancestors owned by the Buddhists must not be sold to Muslims.
2. Buddhist women must not marry Muslims.
3. Buddhists should only buy from Buddhist shops.
4. Buddhists must not buy, build, or rent houses, plantation or farmland for Muslims in their names.
If you break the above four rules, you will be punished effectively.
(The decision from the special meeting of the “Group for Maintaining and Protecting Different religious sects,” Mission held in M---Monastery, Hpa-an Town at 1:00 PM, on Wan Moon Day, 9th Wagaung, 1374 [Burmese calendar], Monday, September 10th 2012)
The above photo was taken on December 8th 2012 by a community member in M--- village, Noh Kay village tract, T’Nay Hsah Township, and shows the letter distributed by M--- Monastery during a meeting on December 7th, which was attended by 41 villagers from four villages in the area. The letter, written in Burmese, and translated on the right by KHRG staff, includes four policies regulating relations between Buddhist and Muslim villagers. [Photo: KHRG]