Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rioting Continues

Last evening a member of the admin staff came to my apartment to tell me that I couldn't leave the compound because of a government-imposed curfew.  She had no other news.  I found out this morning that the principal came to the apartments and gave an update on the situation to staff members who were hanging around but those who didn't happen to be there were left in the dark.

The curfew is an effort to stop the riots which have become a nightly event, with large mobs on motorbikes riding through the streets, singing the national anthem and targeting homes, businesses and religious sites of the minority Muslim community.

As far as I know, AIS is the only school which opted to remain open.  My class is all present and other than the kids talking about the situation before school, it's business as usual.  The field trip, which I'd just rescheduled for next week has been cancelled.  I'm not telling the kids yet, though, in the hope that the situation will clear up and we can still go.

The school has opted to shut down the internet for the entire weekend for maintenance which means I'll have no source of news and won't be able to communicate.  Since we frequently don't have internet, that's nothing new.

This is the first time that this type of violence against Muslims has happened on this scale in Mandalay.  The violence has been going on for over two years but mostly centered in the western Rakhine State. 

On the bright side, I feel safe but will not be visiting the monastery to take the new pencils I bought for the orphans who live there.  While it is unlikely that there will be violence there, I'm not willing to risk it.  I'm going shopping right after work to make sure I've got enough food/baking supplies so just in case things get worse I'll be set.  For me personally, I think the greatest danger is I'll just be holed up in my apartment, baking and eating too many cookies and brownies.  It could be worse.

No comments:

Post a Comment