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Do not frame Rohingya situation as a religious conflict

The Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council (MBCC) and the Malaysian Buddhist Association jointly are very concerned about the situation in the Rakhine State in Myanmar.

We urge that Myanmar authorities, the Rohingya community and all other parties concerned resolve the issue urgently so as to minimise human suffering.

We would like to stress that the situation in Myanmar is a communal issue caused by its unique historical context.

Although the parties involved happened to be of the Islamic and Buddhist faiths, all parties should be careful and not to portray it as a religious conflict.

Furthermore, we would like to also emphasise that the teachings of the Buddha have always stressed that one should avoid the path of violence, especially the killing of other beings.

This is one of the most important precepts for a Buddhist. “I undertake the precept to abstain from killing living beings” (ātipātā veramaī sikkhāpada samādiyāmi).

It is our view that anyone who acts out of violence and actively kills or takes the lives of other human beings has deviated from acts and thoughts of compassion and wisdom, which are the essence of the Buddhist way of life.

Once again, we urge all parties concerned to focus on eliminating unnecessary human suffering by working towards amicable solutions to the conflict.

Our prayers are with all the people who are suffering in the situation, regardless of whether they are Muslims, Buddhists or otherwise.

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