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UN envoy visits Myanmar amid sectarian unrest

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 00:39

March 24 - The U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy, Vijay Nambiar, tours villages in Myanmar following recent unrest between Buddhists and Muslims. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Four days after an outbreak of sectarian violence in central Myanmar, the Special Advisor of the U.N. Secretary-General on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, visited the area on Sunday (March 24) morning to survey the situation. Unrest between Buddhist and Muslims have killed dozens of people since Wednesday (March 20) after an incident at a gold shop between a Buddhist couple and the Muslim owners escalated into a riot in Meikhtila, a city 540 kilometres (336 miles) north of the commercial capital Yangon. State television said President Thein Sein had imposed martial law in the four districts, placing the military, rather than local police, in charge of security. Nambiar who toured Meikhtila said those who were forced to flee their homes in fear have been provided temporary camps. "Well, what I can see is that they are obviously feeling insecure because their houses has been destroyed and the mosques has been destroyed in this locality but they are being provided with food and health care and they don't have any complain about basic necessities. They are of course worried and I've tried to stress to them and this should be seen as criminal actions and they should not be converted into communal problems and community must learn to live together. I think they are convinced also there is need for communities to live together," he said. More than 2,000 people have been displaced due to the violence. Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, but about five percent of its 60 million people are Muslims.

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UN envoy visits Myanmar amid sectarian unrest

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 00:39