The Straits Times
Published on Sep 15, 2012

Myanmar stung by global censure over unrest


YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar grew used to international criticism under a notoriously brutal junta, but reformist leaders tackling the fallout from deadly communal unrest are facing a new reality - having to listen.

Festering animosity between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state erupted in June leaving, according to official figures, nearly 90 dead.

Whole villages lie decimated as a result of the fighting, leaving tens of thousands displaced, many from the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority who have long suffered persecution in the country and elsewhere.

Access to the affected areas is restricted, but a steady stream of foreign diplomats and media have visited, eager to bear witness to the aftermath of unrest that has caught the attention of the Western and Islamic world.