Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups

Myanmar: Peace talks for settling conflict with majority-Christian ethnic groups
Myanmar’s Peace Commission has held a meeting in China with the representatives of three ethnic armed groups fighting the Myanmar Armed Forces along the country’s northern border, AsiaNews reports. The  Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army are part of the Northern Alliance, which also . . . Read More

Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples

Myanmar: Army accused of destroying churches and turning them into Buddhist temples
Myanmar’s military has destroyed about 60 churches in the past 18 months and turned a third of them into Buddhist pagodas in northern Kachin state, according to an American pastor who visited the region recently. “In the last 18 months, they have bombed 60 churches. Of the 60 churches they . . . Read More

Sri Lanka: Facebook told to block religious hate speech

A young girl in Colombo looks at her mobile phone while Sri Lanka's civil society has called on Facebook to block hate speech. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Civil society groups in Sri Lanka have asked Facebook to do more to prevent hate speech, including comments that discriminate on religious lines, following recent anti-Muslim riots. “There was a post in the Sinhala [Sri Lanka’s largest ethnic group] language on Facebook for six days, which mentioned ‘killing all Muslims, . . . Read More

Laos government agrees to religious freedom education

Vat That Khao, the Reclining Buddha, in Vientiane. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The government in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos has agreed to sponsor religious-freedom education in the country. The US-based Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) will roll out a series of seminars focusing on “religious freedom as a human right, Lao government policy on religious activity and encouraging dialogue between . . . Read More

Thai Buddhist calls for action against nationalism

A Thai Buddhist has called for Buddhist-majority countries like Thailand to halt the rise of nationalism, intolerance and hate speech. “It’s very dangerous, much more dangerous than weapons,” said Sulak Sivaraksa during a recent panel discussion on the Channel NewsAsia programme Between The Lines. As World Watch Monitor reported in . . . Read More

USCIRF says Myanmar must ‘control’ its military

A new, critical report on religious freedoms in Myanmar by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom says the major challenge facing Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is “bringing the military under civilian control”. The report says the Burmese Army, which, due to constitutional provisions, is beyond civilian control, has . . . Read More