Survivors criticise Myanmar government over clashes
SITTWE, Myanmar (AP) - Survivors of ethnic clashes in western Myanmar have lashed out at the government for failing to prevent violence between Muslims and Buddhists that has displaced more than 28,000 people over the last week.
The crisis, which erupted in June, has raised international concern and posed one of the biggest challenges yet to Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein, who inherited power from a xenophobic military junta last year.
"The authorities are not solving the problem and soldiers are not defending us," said Mr Kyaw Myint, a Muslim who took refuge at Thechaung camp outside Sittwe. He fled his home in nearby Pauktaw when it was torched on Wednesday. "I feel as though I am in hell," he said. "We have no one to take care of us, no place to go, and now no job to earn a living."
A 37-year-old Rakhine trader named Maung Than Naing, reached by phone in the village of Kyauktaw, also expressed anger over the government's handling of the violence. "We are helpless because the government is not dealing with the root of the problem," he said. "We no longer want to live with the Muslims."