Muslim activists protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta (Reuters)
Myanmar has invited the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the country to see for itself the treatment of Rohingya Muslims who are at the centre of claims that they are victims of ethnic cleansing.
President Thein Sein said he welcomed a visit by the world's largest Muslim grouping, which has urged the international community to take action to stop the massacres of the Rohingya in Rakhine state. The UN has described the Rohingya as the most persecuted minority on earth.
"The president said he hoped the OIC secretary could witness the reality," state mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar said.
The conflict began in June 2011, when 10 Muslims were lynched by a crowd of angry Buddhists after three Muslim men were accused of raping and murdering a local girl and sentenced to death by a district court in Kyaukphyu, western Myanmar.
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The death of the woman, who was a Buddhist, heightened existing religious and ethnic tensions and led to violent sectarian attacks in the region.
According to one estimate, 80 people have been killed and more than 100,000 displaced during the conflict. More than 1,662 homes were destroyed and over 30,000 people displaced.
The bloodshed has cast a shadow over Thein Sein's reforms, which have been internationally praised. The lossening of strict regime controls have included the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.
Saudi Arabian claims that the Myanmar government was engaged in ethnic cleansing of Rohingya were dismissed by the US.
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