When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

AFP, BBC, IRRAWADDY (Burma), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

MEIKTILA- Burmese sectarian violence has turned deadly, as angry mobs rioted in the streets and at least five people have been reported killed in the central city of Meiktila.

The BBC cites a death toll of 20 by Friday morning, though the Myanmar government has only confirmed five fatalities after an argument in a gold shop escalated into mobs setting mainly Muslim buildings on fire -- including mosques -- and rival communities fighting in the streets.

Meiktila is more than 500km north of the capital Yangon (Rangoon)

The state media reported that a Buddhist monk is among the dead, with dozens wounded. Anonymous state authorities have put the death toll at 10 or higher, says Reuters. Buildings were still burning Friday morning and Buddhist crowds roamed the otherwise empty streets of the city in one of Asia’s most ethnically diverse countries, which is known to many as Burma but officially recognized as Myanmar.

“Two mosques and an Islamic religious school nearby were destroyed. A Buddhist monk and another man succumbed to their injuries at the hospital around 11 pm yesterday,” said an officer from the police station in Meiktila to Burmese daily Irrawaddy, without explaining how the two had been injured.

Irrawaddy reports that Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition chief Aung San Suu Kyi urged the Police Chief to take action as soon as possible. “Don’t sit by and watch. Act in accordance with the law.”

Parts of Meiktila have been reduced to ashes in the most serious Buddhist-Muslim clashes since those last year in the northern Rakhine State riots that left more than 120,000 displaced. Most of the victims were the Rohingya Muslims who are not recognized as Burmese citizens.

The ethnic cleansing in Burma had been previously hushed up but since the current government took power in 2011, people have been using the Internet more and more to publicize what is going on.

Coincidentally, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt arrived in Burma on Friday to promote the use of technology. The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon was live-tweeting his speech and visit.

LIVE! #Google"s Eric Schmidt in Rangoon: "Myanmar was a formerly inaccessible country, but the Internet will make it impossible to go back."

— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 22, 2013

LIVE! #Google"s Eric Schmidt in Rangoon speech: "Rule #1 - Don't let the government control the Internet." Audience applauds

— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 22, 2013

Schmidt: Techonology empowers individuals. One mobile phone in one village can record injustices.

— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 22, 2013

#Google"s Eric Schmidt:Myanmar is right on the cusp and will be able to leapfrog many other developing countries. This is your big moment.

— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 22, 2013

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

The Xi-Putin Alliance Is Dead, Long Live The Xi-Putin Alliance

The façade of unity between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin was lifted in Uzbekistan last week. But where exactly does the Chinese head of state stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Beijing is still establishing its place in the world, and it remains in contradiction to the West

China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the 22nd Summit of the SCO

Gregor Schwung

-Analysis-

Xi Jinping is not out of practice. The Chinese President's public demeanor on his first foreign trip since January 2020 was as confident as ever. When meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he promptly removed his mask and stood inches away from the Russian president, smiling affably.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

What looked routine to the outside world was a diplomatic tightrope walk that the Chinese leader felt compelled to perform. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since February, when they proclaimed a "friendship without borders" at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Shortly thereafter, Putin launched his campaign against Ukraine – and the world wondered whether Putin had used his Olympic visit to obtain Xi's approval for his invasion.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ