Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

13 Jul, 2013

Myanmar turns blind eye to massacre of young Muslims | The Japan Times

MEIKHTILA, MYANMAR – Their bones are scattered in blackened patches of earth across a hillside overlooking the wrecked Islamic boarding school they once called home.

Smashed fragments of skulls rest atop the dirt. A shattered jaw cradles half a set of teeth. And among the remains lie the sharpened bamboo staves attackers used to beat dozens of people to the ground before drowning their still-twitching bodies in gasoline and burning them alive.

The mobs that March morning were Buddhists enraged by the killing of a monk. The victims were Muslims who had nothing to do with it — students and teachers from a prestigious Islamic school in central Myanmar who were so close to being saved.

In the last hours of their lives, police had been dispatched to rescue them from a burning compound surrounded by swarms of angry men. And when they emerged cowering, hands atop their heads, they only had to make it to four police trucks waiting on the road above.

It wasn’t far to go, just one hill.

What happened on the way is the story of one of Myanmar’s darkest days since the country’s post-junta leaders promised the dawn of a new, democratic era two years ago — a day on which 36 Muslims, mostly teenagers, were slaughtered before the eyes of police and local officials who did almost nothing to stop it.

Read the rest: Myanmar turns blind eye to massacre of young Muslims – The Japan Times.