Myanmar won't allow OIC to open liaison office
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar's government will not allow the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to open a liaison office after thousands of Buddhist monks and laypeople marched to protest the plan.
Sectarian tensions have been running high in Myanmar's western Rakhine state after clashes in June between Rakhine Buddhists and Bengali Rohingya Muslims which left nearly 90 people dead and displaced tens of thousands. Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples were burned down during the unrest.
Myanmar's state press had reported that the government and the OIC agreed last month to open an office in Yangon to provide aid for people displaced by the fighting, and the OIC sent a team to investigate the violence.
On Monday, the Information Ministry cited the President's Office as saying that "the opening of the OIC office will not be allowed as it is contradictory to the aspirations of the people." The OIC has 57 member states and seeks to be the voice of the Islamic world.