Trash collectors passing near the debris area in Thiri Mingalar Qr .

Workers at the construction site in Chan Aye Quarter where all the houses of both communities were burnt down during the conflict.

A Pakistani Mosque and the debris area in Thiri Mingalar Qr where houses of both communities were burnt and destroyed during the attack in March 2013. The area marked with Sanga Flag means that it is the property of the Buddhists.

Women preparing at the common kitchen area in Inn Kone Buddhist IDP camp.

Monks from the Masoeyein Monestry where Wirathu dwells.

Muslim children attending the temporary Summer Religious school at Khayine Kwin IDP camp.

Muslim woman at Meiktila Myoma Market area.

Kids from Po Set Muslim IDP camp.

At the construction site in Chan Aye Quarter where all the houses of both communities were burnt down during the conflict.

Kids from the Po Set Muslim IDP camp.

Glimpse of Meiktila

The anti-muslim movement called 969 run by a few Buddhist monks holding preaching events have been spreading xenophobic speeches to the Buddhist community. After 969 Leader Wirathu came and gave hate speech in Meiktila in Nov 2012, religious conflict broke out, in March 2014 based on the small quarrel between a shopkeeper and customer. Both communities were hurt in the riots in respective ways. A lot of lives were lost in both communities but mass death happened in Muslim community. 48 people were killed.

Although the conflict was over one year ago, there are still IDP camps for both communities. Nearly 4500 people are still depending on those IDP camps and reconstructions for damaged houses haven’t been ready yet. Damaged mosques are also still in the waiting process of reconstruction. In the camps, most challenging condition is the scarcity of space, privacy and hygiene problem.

Mixed married families separated as Muslims spouses are still not allowed to stay in some Buddhists quarters with the reason given by the authority that the presence Muslim in Buddhist quarter may trigger unnecessary problem for the community in the near future. Both communities are still feeling tension and fear for the future conflict or riot.
There are some Muslim who converted into Buddhists after the conflict.

No matter how the conflict or riots happens in communities, I believe that there are there has always been existing capacities between these groups before the conflict, after the conflict and even during the conflict (these capacities may be invisible as it is buried in hatred, mistrust and fear). My story will portray the glimpse of Meiktila 1 year after conflict the riots consequences, the life of people from different communities living in IDP camps, feeling of Muslim and uncertainty of Meiktila portrait.

by Yu Yu Myint Than

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