Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Markus Löning today (27 March) issued a statement on the unrest in Myanmar:
I am very concerned by the clashes in Myanmar and very much regret that they have claimed so many lives.
The underlying conflicts must be resolved so that the members of the various ethnic and religious groups can live together in lasting peace. This applies to Buddhists and Muslims, as well as everyone else.
I would like to encourage public agencies and religious leaders to continue to seek dialogue and call on all people involved to refrain from violence.
The transition to democracy is a difficult process in any country. Myanmar is a country with many ethnic groups and religions. I hope it will successfully enable all its people to live together peacefully and democratically.
Additional background information:
Serious unrest erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in the central city of Meiktila on 20 March and continued until 22 March. At least 40 people were killed in the clashes. More than 10,000 people fled their homes. A state of emergency was declared on 22 March and the military took control of the town. Since then, the situation in Meiktila has been calm. However, further isolated incidents have been reported in neighbouring areas and in the Bago region. Authorities in several townships have imposed dusk‑to‑dawn curfews. In Rangoon, too, shops in most parts of the city have been forced to close at night as a precaution.