Friday, May 3, 2013

Fear begets fear in Myanmar: Citizens take on security as Buddhist extremism, violence spread

YANGON, Myanmar — They have seen how the troubles start from the smallest things. They have seen the police powerless before mobs fired with religious zeal and armed with bricks and swords. They have seen on TV and in newspapers the burning homes of people just like them light up the night. And so they have erected rusted barbed-wire barricades and volunteered to sit on street corners, 10 men at time, watching for signs of trouble through the night.
Fear courses through the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, especially among its Muslim minority. They have watched the country’s spreading religious violence, which threatens to destabilize its fragile democracy, creep closer to home. With little faith in the government’s ability to protect them and a growing movement of Buddhist extremism, some feel they have little choice but to try to defend themselves.
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By the washington post