Peace Library, Meiktila, Myanmar


ACTIVISM

 

In 2016, ADI organized a community project for victim-survivors of the massacre in Meiktila, Myanmar.  We worked in cooperation with regional theater organizations to hold performances for children and conducted arts therapy sessions with the children. The Peace Library Project - aimed at empowering children and adolescents as peacemakers to transform fear and tension into empathy and understanding - has been underway since 2017.  Upon completion of construction, we will introduce educational programs and projects for peacebuilding customized for the local context of Meiktila. The library will provide opportunities to augment children’s critical thinking skills and cultivate sensitivity for peace within the community. 

 

BACKGROUND

 

On March 20, 2013, violence occurred in Meiktila township of Mandalay Province in central Myanmar, triggered by a dispute between a Muslim jewelry shopkeeper and a Buddhist civilian.  The incident quickly snowballed into a massacre of the Muslim population by extremist Buddhist leaders and the military, leaving 43 dead, 86 injured, and 13,000 new refugees over three days.  Perpetuated by the anti-Muslim movement of the extreme right and by the government of Myanmar, the aftermath of the massacre led to increased tensions and conflict between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Meiktila.





 

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