Burmese security forces backed by Buddhist monks have "committed crimes against humanity" in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya Muslims in the southwest of the country, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.
The report comes as the European Union was due to meet this week to decide whether to lift sanctions on Myanmar, the South East Asian country also known as Burma.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority living in Rakhine - thought to number between 800,000 and one million - who claim they have been persecuted by Myanmar's military during its decades of authoritarian rule.
As sectarian tensions continue to boil in central Myanmar, authorities have imposed curfews in more towns in an attempt to stop groups of Buddhists from setting fire to mosques and Muslims' homes.
The fresh restrictions come after a state of emergency was declared last week in the city where clashes between the two communities first broke out, leaving at least 40 people dead.
Officials on Tuesday put dusk-to-dawn curfews in place in the townships of Gyobingauk, Okpo and Minhla, the New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, reported in its Wednesday edition.
The death toll from sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar has risen to 40, state media reported Tuesday.
Authorities clearing up the wreckage from the riots last week in the city of Meiktila have found eight bodies among the debris, increasing the number of dead from 32, the New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, reported in its Tuesday edition.
Residents of the city in central Myanmar where clashes between Buddhists and the Muslim minority killed dozens of people last week struggled to resume their daily lives on Monday with a state of emergency still in place.
Even as an uneasy calm prevailed in Meiktila, the city at the heart of the unrest, police reported fresh arson attacks on Muslim properties in other areas, showing the challenges Myanmar authorities face in reining in communal tensions in this nascent democracy.
The death toll from clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar has risen to around 20, a local lawmaker said Friday.
Set off by a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers, the violence in Meiktila Township has prompted thousands of residents to flee their homes as rioters set fire to houses, schools and mosques, according to Win Htein, a member of parliament for the area.
A dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers erupted in clashes that left four people dead, at least 20 injured and four mosques burned to the ground in central Myanmar, police said Thursday.
The clashes began Wednesday morning in Meiktila Township after a quarrel between the shop owner and the sellers, police said. The sellers were beaten up by four other Muslim shop owners, police said.
In retaliation, Muslims and Buddhists took to the street, torching each others' houses and schools, said Police Lt. Col. Aung Min.
Aung San Suu Kyi won re-election Sunday as the opposition leader in Myanmar at a gathering of opposition members in Yangon.
It was the first conference of opposition members in 25 members, and is another indication of the military junta loosening its reins and allowing such a gathering.
One hundred and twenty members of the National League for Democracy voted for Suu Kyi on the third day of the party's meeting.
President Barack Obama met with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Myanmar on Monday, lauding her "courage and determination" during a historic visit to the once repressive and secretive country.
The first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar, Obama urged its leaders, who have embarked on a series of far-reaching political and economic reforms since 2011, not to extinguish the "flickers of progress that we have seen."
[Updated 5:00 a.m.] At least 13 people have died and 40 more injured, according the charity Save the Children, which operates inside Myanmar.
The aid organization Doctors Without Borders has warned that its workers on the ground in western Myanmar are finding it harder and harder to treat victims of recent violence that has inflamed tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities in the region.
Clashes between the two communities in Myanmar's Rakhine state have killed 89 people and displaced more than 35,000 others in recent weeks, the United Nations said in its most recent report on the situation, citing government figures.
"Ongoing animosity" in the area, some of it directed at aid groups, "makes it increasingly difficult to support the Ministry of Health to run already overstretched clinics and reach out to newly displaced communities," Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.
Rights groups have said that the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim people who live in Rakhine but aren't recognized as citizens by Myanmar authorities, are bearing the brunt of the violence.
"That we are prevented from acting and threatened for wanting to deliver medical aid to those in need is shocking and leaves tens of thousands without the medical care they urgently need," said Joe Belliveau, the operations manager of Doctors Without Borders.
Read the CNN story from last week about the violence in Rakhine here.
More than 20,000 people were displaced in western Myanmar from the latest violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Askok Nigam, said.
The clashes between the two ethnic groups has left at least 64 people dead and thousands of homes torched in the western state of Rakhine. What's behind the violence?
[Updated 8:01 a.m.] Sectarian violence in volatile western Myanmar has killed at least 50 people this week, officials in the state of Rakine said today.
More details here.
[Posted 3:41 a.m.] Authorities have stepped up security measures in a volatile region of western Myanmar amid a fresh outbreak of sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
Clashes in recent days between the two communities in Rakhine State have killed seven people, wounded dozens of others and resulted in more than 1,000 houses being set on fire.
In an effort to clamp down on the unrest, authorities are sending extra security forces to the affected areas.
Fresh sectarian clashes in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine killed three people and left more than 400 houses, a monastery and a mosque burned to the ground, authorities said Tuesday.
The clashes began Sunday night and spread to four townships, said state Attorney General Hla Thein.
Authorities have declared at state of emergency in two of the townships, with the state's prime minister instructing that medical teams be accompanied by security personnel when they visit them.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy campaigner who was kept under house arrest for years by the country's military rulers, is due to receive the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in Washington on Wednesday.
The honor is one of the highlights of a 17-day tour of the United States by Suu Kyi, who was freed in 2010 and elected to the Myanmar parliament this year, a historic moment in the incipient political reforms under way in the Southeast Asian nation.
Congress awarded the medal, its "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions," to Suu Kyi in May 2008, but she has only now been able to make her first visit to the United States in decades to receive it.
She joins a list of recipients that includes George Washington, Nelson Mandela and Frank Sinatra.
Over the next two weeks, Suu Kyi is scheduled to meet with high-level American officials, as well as democratic activists.
The Supreme Court may soon rule on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. Once a ruling is issued, CNN.com Live will be there for all the reaction and fallout.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Aung San Suu Kyi addresses UK Parliament - Myanmar pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi continues her trip to Britain by speaking before both houses of Parliament.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in Wednesday as a lawmaker for the first time, a key step in the country's recent shift toward democracy after decades of repressive military rule.
Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy campaigner who spent years under house arrest, traveled to the parliament in the capital, Naypyidaw, to take up the seat she won in elections last month.
She and 33 other newly elected members of her party, the National League for Democracy, took an oath of office for the lower house of parliament that they had initially refused to accept because of its wording, which called for protection of the country's constitution.
The NLD considers the constitution undemocratic and has said it wants to change it.
The party had asked the Myanmar authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that lawmakers would "abide by" the constitution rather than "protect" it.
The Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Monday that she would take a swearing-in oath at the country's parliament, apparently resolving an impasse that had been preventing her from taking up her seat in the legislature.
"I will go to the parliament because there is a demand of people who voted for me," Suu Kyi said after meeting with party members.
She and 42 other newly elected members of her party, the National League for Democracy, had been delaying their debuts in parliament because they objected to the wording of the oath they would have to take.
The NLD had asked authorities to amend the oath to say that parliamentarians will "abide by" the constitution rather than "protect" it. But the government of President Thein Sein didn't appear to show any sign of moving to accommodate the request.
Suu Kyi said Monday that she would "take an oath for the country and for the people."
The Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of her party are delaying their parliamentary debut Monday as they seek to resolve a problem concerning the wording of the oath that lawmakers have to take.
Suu Kyi and 42 other candidates from her party, the National League for Democracy, won seats in by-elections on April 1, a result welcomed by countries like the United States and Britain as a sign of progress toward democracy in Myanmar after decades of repressive military rule.
Following the elections, Suu Kyi and other newly elected opposition members were invited to attend the session of parliament this week in the capital of Naypidaw.
But they have requested that the wording of the swearing-in oath that lawmakers have to take be changed. The NLD asked the authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that parliamentarians will "abide by" the constitution rather than "protect" it.
"We want to change that constitution because it's not a democratic constitution," Ohn Kyaing, a spokesman for the NLD, said Sunday.
The constitution currently assigns 25% of parliamentary seats to unelected members of the military establishment.
Tin Oo, a senior NLD official, said that he believed the parliament would consider the issue Monday and that it could be decided upon this week.
The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has requested a change in the wording of the oath that lawmakers have to take, presenting a potential hurdle to her taking up the parliamentary seat she won this month.
The National League for Democracy has asked the authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that parliamentarians will "abide by the law" rather than "protect the constitution," Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, said Wednesday.
Suu Kyi's party won 43 of the 44 seats it contested in by-elections on April 1. She is scheduled to attend her first session of parliament on Monday after she was elected in the constituency of Kawhmu.
Nyan Win said the NLD was waiting for Myanmar authorities to respond to the request. He declined to say what Suu Kyi and the other elected members of the party would do if the oath wasn't changed before the parliament session began.
News of the complication emerged as Norway announced that Suu Kyi would visit the country in June, her first overseas trip since she was released from decades of house arrest in 2010.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has suspended campaigning for Myanmar's upcoming by-elections after falling ill, her party said Sunday.
Nyan Win, the spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, said the rigors of crisscrossing the country to attend election rallies had taken a toll on the 66-year-old old Nobel Laureate.
"She was sick, but her health condition has improved now," he said. "She still feels a bit tired."
Suu Kyi, who was released from years under house arrest in 2010, is expected to resume travel once she feels better.
Her party has submitted candidates for all 47 seats up for grabs in the April 1 by-elections, after boycotting previous elections.
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