Muslim leaders urge Myanmar to restore order in riot-hit towns
YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's Muslim leaders have appealed to President Thein Sein to take swift action to quell religious violence, accusing security forces of standing by as rioters went on a rampage.
"These violent attacks include crimes such as arson and massacres which deserve heavy penalties," four groups including the Islamic Religious Affairs Council and the Myanmar Muslim National Affairs Organisation wrote in an open letter to the president.
"However, in this situation the authorities neglected to take swift and effective action against the perpetrators who recklessly committed crimes in front of them," they added, in remarks seen by AFP on Thursday.
"Massacres and damages to religious buildings and property are due to the weakness of the responsible authorities to protect and take effective action."