An event was held at the Central European University’s School of Public policy in Budapest titled ‘Buddhist Fury: violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka and Myanmar‘ where academics sought to question the reasons underlying anti-Muslim rhetoric in the two countries.
Richard Reoch, President of Shambala, argued what he considers to the reasons for the conflict in both countries:
‘It comes down to three factors. Emotion, culture and identity.’
The conference also questioned Aung San Su Kyi’s lack of response to the conflict in Burma. Dr Richard Horsey commented that she ‘had used her political capital on other unpopular causes, there is no reason she cannot speak up for the Rohingya.’
In both countries extremist and ethnocentric Buddhist groups are using various tactics to promote conflict with the Muslim community which includes promoting Islamophobic language.
Those taking part included: Dr Alan Keenan, Richard Reoch, Assed Baig andRichard Horsey