115,000 killed in Syria. Myanmar Prez vows end to religious conflicts

October 2, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Syrian conflictLondon, October 02, 2013: More than 115,000 people have lost their lives in the 30-month conflict between rebels and the forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, according to activists.

Of this total, 6,000 victims are children, and 4,000 women, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday.

Besides civilians, tens of thousands of soldiers and rebel fighters have been killed in the conflict which began in March 2011 and has escalated into a gruesome civil war, the watchdog noted.

In the month of September alone, 5,000 people died in the fighting, it said.

Mass killings have not ceased with the Russian-US deal to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal after the Aug 21 poison gas attack near Damascus that killed hundreds of civilians, it added.

A total of 47,000 soldiers and pro-Assad militiamen have been killed in the fighting and around 23,000 rebels, including deserters from the Syrian army, according to the watchdog.

Of the 41,000 civilians who have been killed, 3,000 have never been identified, said the Observatory, which relies for its information on a network of activists and doctors inside Syria.

– ians

Myanmar president vows to prevent religious conflicts

Myanmar president vows to prevent religious conflictsMyanmar, October 02, 2013: The Myanmar government has vowed to cooperate fully with five faiths in the country to prevent recurrence of racial and religious conflicts, media reports said Wednesday.

In his message to the Conference of Leaders of Five Faiths in Yangon, President U Thein Sein said instability harms and delays the state reform and tarnishes the image of the nation internationally, Xinhua reported.

Citing the fundamental teachings of all faiths, he said the problem should be settled with truth, loving kindness and tolerance, calling for avoiding extremes.

He maintained that the constitution of Myanmar fully guarantees freedom of religion as the fundamental right of citizens, warning not to misuse the noble idea of the freedom of religion as a springboard for any kind of extremism and fuelling hatred.

The president expressed the belief that only an all-inclusive democracy can guarantee long-term progress and peace and stability of a country like Myanmar which is formed with numerous indigenous people of different races, religions and culture.

“This diversity must be a united force for our own interest,” he said.

There are mainly five faiths in Myanmar, namely Buddhism (89.2 percent), Christianity (5.0 percent), Islam (3.8 percent), Hinduism (0.5 percent), and Spiritualism (1.2 percent).

– ians

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