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Marist students and Brothers protest in Srimangal

25/09/2017: Bangladesh

Marist students and a Brother took to the streets on Sept. 17 in Srimangal, Bangladesh, to protest the killing of the Rohingya - Bengali Muslims living in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar (Burma).

Brother Eugenio Sanz, who has been in Bangladesh since 2006, took part in the protest held in the Maulvibazar district alongside people of other religious denominations and several students of his school.

Protesters lined up with banners in solidarity with the Rohingya to ask for solutions “from those who have the power to do so.”

Many Marist students in Srimangal are Muslims or tribal, which is why Br Eugenio affirmed in his blog that “they feel identified with the suffering of these people without legal status, without rights and without land, who are being expelled from their homes in Burma.”

Bangladesh is currently sheltering over 800,000 Rohingya of whom 430,000 arrived in the past three weeks.

But Myanmar is also facing a growing danger of attacks by foreign Islamic State supporters, fighting in favour of the Rohingya.

In 2012, riots broke out in the Rakhine State when a Rakhine Buddhist woman was allegedly raped and murdered by Rohingya, according to the BBC.

Ten Rohingya were killed by Rakhine Buddhists in reprisal attacks. By August that year 57 Muslims and 31 Buddhists had been killed and an estimated 90,000 people were displaced by the violence. About 2,528 houses were also burned, 1,336 belonging to Rohingya Muslims and 1,192 to Rakhine Buddhists.

The Rohingya have had citizenship problems since 1982. The government does not recognise them as an ethnic group, although it recognises eight other ethnic groups in the country.

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