Thousands of Rohingya Muslims gathered in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, to call for an end to the violence in the western Rakhine state (formerly known as Arakan). The emotional appeal was made outside the Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur, predominantly by Rohingya Muslims living in Malaysia, who make up the bulk of the 80,000 Burmese refugees in the country. Those protesting are calling for UN intervention and emergency medical assistance. Described by mainstream media as 'sectarian violence' many activists and those targeted in the former independent state, have said that the violence is ethnic cleansing by the Rakhine Buddhists against the minority Rohingya Muslims. Although tensions between the communities is firmly entrenched in Burmese history, the violence escalated six days after a 26-year-old Buddhist woman, was allegedly raped and killed by three young Rohingya Muslims. The attack prompted a mob of around 300 Buddhists to attack a bus of Muslim pilgrims, clubbing ten to death. Since then violence has escalated, with the BBC reporting yesterday that 30,000 people have now been displaced by the violence. Approximately 2,500 homes have been burnt during the clashes, and people are being houses in temporary camps across the state. It is feared that the displaced people are heading towards a crisis without food, shelter or medication. Photographs via @rohingyablogger and @rachelewill.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims protest at Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur