Photo-Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Ye Myint (R, front) and Consul-General Yu Boren (L, front)
At night, on April 11, 2013, close circle of chief minister of Mandalay Region called a Muslim social activist for the matter of organizing an urgent meeting with Muslim community leaders.
On next day, April 12, 2013, representatives of Myanmar Muslim communities in Mandalay including Islamic religious organizations met at the regional Ulama (Religious Scholars) office.
Because of the reply of just asking to meet chief minister U Yeဲ Myint on making enquiry about the subject of meeting to authorities, ten Muslim community leaders went to the office of Mandalay Regional chief minister after Friday prayer.
Also, ten regional government personnel including some ministers and departmental officials joined that meeting.
The meeting was started at 3.10 p.m.
Entering the meeting room, Mandalay Regional Chief Minister U Yeဲ Myint, without addressing any introductory remark, forcefully claimed for about 45 minutes continuously that Meiktilar Riot was triggered by the terrorist attack of Muslim side by killing a monk with the issue of gold shop; Muslim youth shouted to wash their feet with Buddhists’ blood; imams shaped the youth to become extremists; the riot spread to other places due to exaggerating and spreading rumors from Muslim side; although he himself managed the security in Meiktilar, doubts and worries emerged among Buddhists due to that; he knew that Muslims would keep on to blame Buddhists for bombing attack to mosques after bombing those by themselves; Muslims were carrying out those activities with a certain purpose; Muslims had still had one-sided negative perception on Buddhists and monks, ignoring that Muslims were saved and taken care by Buddhist side; he himself already supported all requirements in refugee camps; Muslims had known the extremists from their side and hence, they needed to cooperate with authorities by reporting about those extremists; only by this way, Muslims could live longer in Myanmar; his government would tighten the security measures more in future.
Among Muslim leaders are 70 to 80 years old elderly, but his style of speaking was unlike delivering a speech or a discussion but just like scolding to inferiors.
On his one-sided accusation on Muslim community, U Thein Win Aung, a leader of one Islamic Sufi order, explained well back that Muslims were not extreme as well as would not bomb; Muslim youths were just calling God’s Name with fear; it was necessarily required to replace the Muslim refugees and repair the prayer places as the month of fasting would come soon; minority needed authorities’ help not to be bullied by majority.
However, U Yeဲ Myint did not allow to continue his explanation and said,
“Extremism is as such. I can’t permit you all to explain back. Muslim side is merely telling such pointless matters. You will be arrested first in case the riot occurs next time.”
Although other Muslim community and religious leaders stated in conciliatory manner that they were ready to cooperate with the authorities for peace and rule of law, U Yeဲ Myint, the chief minister of Mandalay Region, ended the meeting agenda, replying harshly,
“Don’t tell the stories. We have no plan for replacement. We won’t consider for this. You all will have to see how we govern continuously.”
A Muslim leader who attended the meeting told M-Media in person,
“From the era of Ma Sa La to today, there has noticeably been no official invitation with any official document whenever the authorities call Muslim community. Today issue goes against the instruction of the State as well. The chief minister of a region is the most responsible person for his regional issues. I opine that his one-sided blaming on Muslims is just to cover his responsibility. We will claim this case legally step by step up to the president, consulting with the religious organizations. According to the State’s globally known statement about transparency, it is vital to know the real situation of such indecorous processes.”