Aug 06, 2013

    Jakarta temple blast linked to Myanmar sectarian violence

    A SMALL bomb was detonated at a Buddhist temple in Indonesia's capital, slightly injuring three people, in protest against violence against Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, a government official said.

    The blast took place at the entrance of the Ekayana temple in West Jakarta on Sunday as people prayed inside, police said, adding that another bomb failed to explode. The blast caused minor damage.

    Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said a note was found at the site, which read: "We hear the screams of the Rohingya."

    Thousands of Rohingyas flee Myanmar each year on rickety boats, seeking refuge and jobs in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as in Thailand. Their numbers have swelled in the wake of unrest in Myanmar last year, in which at least 167 people were killed.

    Indonesia is also a common transit point for people seeking asylum in Australia.

    Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia are members of Asean, which last year warned that continuing violence in Myanmar could destabilise the region.

    Earlier this year, eight people were killed in a riot between Muslim and Buddhist refugees from Myanmar at an Indonesian refugee camp. Two men were arrested with explosives in a backpack, part of a suspected plot to bomb the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta.