Finding the Way Forward: Communal Violence in Myanmar

As part of SEM’s efforts towards peacebuilding in Myanmar, we invited a diverse group of participants from Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu faiths and various civil society organisations, to attend the biennial conference of our sister organisation, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. With the main title for the conference, ‘Buddhist-Muslim and Interfaith Dialogue for Peace and Sustainability’, activities included dialogue on:

INEB dialogue

  • Concerns about regional tensions and conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in SE Asia.
  • Recognition of the need for different levels of engagement to deescalate the tensions.
  • The essential need for strong Buddhist-Muslim relations for regional peace and sustainability.

  “The best way of responding to challenges is through solving it cooperatively, brain storming together and having dialogue/consensus. It is human nature to have different perspectives.”

  Myanmar participant reflection

Reflecting on the situation in Myanmar, most participants agreed that increasing dialogue among diverse religious groups should be encouraged as a way to reduce incidences of violence, and build long-term peace.

On the final day of the Conference, a roundtable discussion on Buddhist-Muslim Relations in Myanmar was arranged particularly for participants from Myanmar to have a space and opportunity to discuss with INEB and JUST committee members on the issue of Buddhist-Muslim tensions and communal violence. This led to the agreement from participants for the establishment of a “Fact-finding Commission on Relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar” to examine relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar.

Details in the Joint Statement below:


fact finding commission



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