Burma and the Sectarian Flashpoint

Wednesday in Rangoon I witnessed firsthand the tensions that are gripping not only Arakan State, where days of sectarian violence have raged, but also, increasingly, other parts of Burma. Walking around the city, I saw Buddhists and Muslims smiling as they came and went from temples and mosques that were full of people praying for peace. At the same time, however, I noticed that police had been deployed near Shwedagon and Sule pagodas, the city’s most famous religious shrines.

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