Report: Myanmar Tourism May Be Threatened by Muslim-Buddhist Violence

According to, civil unrest remains a problem in Myanmar, with a recent onslaught of Muslim and Buddhist violence. Rival mobs torched houses in Sittwe, the worst act of communal violence since the reformist government replaced a junta last year. Eight people were killed and many were wounded on Friday, June 29, 2012, after fighting spread from the town of Maungdaw to Sittwe and nearby villages.

"We believe that the security forces are handling this difficult intercommunal violence in an appropriate way," said Maja Kocijanic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. "We welcome the priority which the Myanmar Government is giving to dealing with all ethnic conflicts."

Curfews have been put into effect in three towns, including Thandwe, near Myanmar's tourist beaches, and Kyaukphyu. The United Nations has begun to evacuate staff from the area. The continuing violence could have harmful effects on Myanmar's opportunities for tourism and foreign investment.

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