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Burmese Military Government Says UK Allegations Of Religious Riot Manipulation Are Baseless - 2003-11-08


The Burmese Foreign Ministry has rejected British accusations that the military government in Rangoon is stirring up unrest between Burma's Buddhist and Muslim communities.

Last Wednesday, the British Foreign Office issued a statement saying it was concerned by reports that men disguised as Buddhist monks were being trucked into Muslim areas of the Burmese capital, to loot Muslim property.

The Foreign Office said Burma's generals seem set on provoking misunderstanding between Islam and Buddhism and on bringing Buddhism into disrepute by associating it with violence and repression.

Burma responded on Friday, calling the British allegations "totally baseless" and "utterly malicious."

A statement from Burma's Foreign Ministry contended the allegations are an attempt to sow discord in the country and to discredit Burma in the international community.

Many reports have circulated in the past month of rioting, arson and communal violence, mostly in central Burma.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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