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Rohingya crisis: Inter-faith events push for peace

Yangon – As the sun set and shops and offices closed for the day, Maha Bandoola park started to fill with people.

Some were here on Tuesday to enjoy the green grounds, a small refuge from the noise and chaos of downtown Yangon.

But many more arrived for an inter-faith prayer event organised by the ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), held outside the City Hall building across the road.

The event was called “Peace in Myanmar – Ceremony for Inter-Faith Prayers.”

It was the last in a series of events in the country, the first of which was held six weeks after a group of armed Rohingya fighters attacked border posts and an army base on August 25, killing 12 security officers and provoking a fierce crackdown by Myanmar’s military.

Since then, hundreds of Rohingya civilians have been killed by security forces, women and girls raped, and villages torched.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh, causing the world’s most pressing refugee crisis. The United Nations human rights chief has described the situation as “textbook ethnic cleansing”.

Myanmar’s government has blamed misinformation for distorting the crisis.

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