http://www.rte.ie/news/player/world-report/2012/1028/#page=3 – audio here, needs realplayer. Excerpt below
Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims continues to spread through Arakan state in western Burma, and as of Friday evening local time,112 people were reported killed in more violence in the region since last weekend, with Burmese soldiers deployed to the region unable or unwilling to stop the violence. The Burmese government late revised the death toll down to 67, with 22,000 people left homeless.
Scene of reported killing, rape, looting and arson was Arakan’s tourist draw Mrauk U, the old Arakanese capital prior to a Burmese annexation in the eighteenth century Another town hit by violence last week was Kyaukphyu, where a new port and pipeline project will link the Burmese coast with Yunnan in western China, allowing Beijing pipe oil and gas from Africa and the Middle East across Burma into China, cutting time and money off a journey that for now takes Chinese ships down through the Straits of Malacca and up through the South China Sea – a bold strategic move that undercuts US naval advantages in the event of any America-China crisis.
Burma’s President Thein Sein, who has led the country’s reforms was whispered to be among the contenders for the Nobel peace prize a few weeks ago. The same President Thein Sein openly called for the Rohingya to be deported en masse to a third country during the summer, while Aung San Suu Kyi has sidestepped the Rohingya issue and on Thursday this week a statement issued by her party called for calm in the region, but spoke of ‘Bengalis’ – the commonly-used Burmese term for the Rohingya but one that implicitly portrays them as foreigners.
For World Report, this is Simon Roughneen in Kuala Lumpur