ICC NOTE: Burma has been a hotbed for animosity among the three main religions, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Buddhist radicals have been constructing religious shrines on or near Muslim and Christian property in an attempt to retake historic Buddhist land. As a result, many of these locations were apparently also built on public land. Thus the Burmese government has stepped in and has demolished hundreds of Buddhist and Muslim places of worship. The decision was made in large part to quell the rise in violence among the faiths as Buddhist radicals have been targeting both Muslim and Christian populations recently.
8/5/2016 Myanmar (Asia News) – The Burmese government ordered the demolition of hundreds of Buddhist and Muslim places of worship, built on public land without permission. This was stated by Win Myint Zaw, Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs, stating that the authorities were removing 173 Buddhist monasteries in the southern part of the Yangon region and another 86 in different states and regions.
The measure was decided as a result of numerous episodes of tension and violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities stemming from disputes over land. Early July, the police arrested five people in Kachin State for leading a group of Buddhists in setting fire to a mosque in Lone Khin. Yesterday, the government admitted that the four buildings of the religious complex had been built without permission.
The disputes also involve the Christian minorities. The Buddhist monk Myaing Kyee Ngu, also known as U Thuzana, is known to have built several Buddhist stupa in the field of churches and mosques in Karen State, claiming ownership of the land.