May 2013

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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►  Anwar: A Story of a Youth from Pattani
Alicia Temple
On May 1, 2013, Muhamadanwan Hayith, known to people close to him as Anwar, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for being a member of the separatist movement Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) by Thailand’s Supreme Court during his third, and last, court hearing. As a Muslim living in southern Thailand, he was arrested in 2005 after violent unrest affected Thailand’s three southern-most provinces. This article offers a profile of Anwar when he was free on bail and a participant of the 2010 School of Peace (SOP) held by Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) in Bangalore, India, as well as an overview of the conflict and its causes in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala Provinces. [Read more]

►   Two-Child Policy in Arakan State: Latest Act of Ill-treatment in Burma, Unlikely to Be the Last
Burma Partnership
The Rohingyas, a persecuted minority community of Muslims, have had to face violent conflicts in the past year with Burma’s majority Buddhist community and a lack of governmental recognition as citizens. Now they face a new form of discrimination: a government policy by officials in the state of Arakan, or Rakhine, in western Burma limiting the size of their families to two children. [Read more]

►   Statement on Religious and Ethnic Violence That Has Occurred in Myanmar
Myanmar Civil Society Organizations and Youth Representatives of All Religions
Several episodes of violence have erupted in Burma between members of the majority Buddhist community and the minority Muslim community. The youth from all religions in the country and members of civil society issued a statement on May 15 in response to this violence. [Read more]

►  Replaying History in Sri Lanka: Land Grabs in the North and East
M. A. Sumanthiran, MP
A Tamil legislator in Sri Lanka describes a worrying phenomenon in which the military is taking land that is privately owned by Tamils in the North and East of the country. In addition to losing their land, the author is also concerned that the aim of this decision is to colonize these predominantly Tamil areas of the island-nation with members of the country’s Singhalese majority community in order to dilute the political rights and culture of the Tamil people of the North and East. In this process, reconciliation after the country’s long civil war is the loser as well as the Tamil people. [Read more]

►   The Arrest and Detention of Azath Salley in Sri Lanka
Asian Human Rights Commission
A Muslim leader and politician in Sri Lanka, Azath Salley, was arrested by police officers on May 2, 2013, and is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). In this article, a regional human rights organization provides an overview of his case and what it means for Sri Lanka and its people. [Read more]

►    My Esteem for the Buddha
Bishop Duleep de Chickera
A Christian leader in Sri Lanka shares this open letter to his Buddhist sisters and brothers during this year’s Wesak, the most important festival of the year for Buddhists that is held during the full moon in May as a celebration of the Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and death. [Read more]

►   The Temples of Modern India Become the Graveyards of Its Indigenous People
Gladson Dungdung
This letter to the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, regarding a power project on the land of adivasis, or tribal people, raises questions, in general, about the development process in India and the apparent apathy of the authorities in implementing the law. More specifically, the letter, dated May 1, 2013, requests him “to protect the rights of the . . . indigenous people of India . . . rather than excluding, discriminating, exploiting, torturing and making them landless, resourceless and beggars by alienating them from the natural and livelihood resources in the name of growth and development.” [Read more]

►    Obituary: Asghar Ali Engineer
Indo-Asian News Service
Asia and the world has lost a leading voice from the Islamic community in India for justpeace, human rights, religious pluralism and liberation theology. Asghar Ali Engineer, an Islamic scholar, prolific author and devoted activist, passed away on May 14 in Mumbai, India, at the age of 74. A web site of his writings and more information about his life is maintained by Rutgers University in the United States at <>. [Read more]