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Kuala Lumpur meet for Buddhist-Muslim peace in Myanmar ends on a

Malaysian Insider, November 20, 2013

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- A recent interfaith forum in Kuala Lumpur has raised the prospect of peace between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar, which has been ripped by sectarian violence since last year.

The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) said that inter-ethnic peace in Myanmar was one of several topics discussed during its biennial conference themed "Inter-Faith Dialogue for Peace and Sustainability", held from November 1 to 4, 2013.

"A special session was held during the conference involving Buddhist monks, Muslims, concerned parties within and outside Myanmar," it said, adding that they agreed to form a fact-finding commission to examine relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar.

The commission would among others focus on examining the facts of the Buddhist-Muslim conflict in Myanmar, to find out the roots of the conflict and establish inter-religious harmony in the country.

It will also cooperate with Myanmarese civil society in the attempt to end the bloody conflict.

The conference also highlighted the interdependence of Buddhists and Muslims throughout Southeast Asia.

"The long history of harmonious relations between all nations in the region has been challenged in recent years by inter-religious conflicts caused by various tensions," said INEB.

Earlier this year, Buddhist-Muslim fightings in Myanmar spilled over to Malaysia in the form of clashes between different Burmese communities, leading to six deaths and hundreds being deported by immigration authorities.

Bangkok-based The Irrawaddy reported that Malaysian police detained more than 1,000 Burmese migrant workers in June to prevent further bloodshed.

The news portal quoted migrants as saying that Malaysian authorities were worsening the situation by rigorously enforcing checks on foreign workers population in Kuala Lumpur.

They also said that Selayang in downtown Kuala Lumpur was the scene of conflicts between foreigners.

"There are immigrants from Myanmar, Nepal, India, Philippines and Indonesia all staying and working in the Selayang area. There is bound to be inter-racial problems," they said.

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