Buddhists convicted of Muslim massacre in Myanmar
July 12, 2013 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Buddhist monks in Meiktila, Myanmar, where violence between Muslims and Buddhists left 43 dead in March 2013.
- Myanmar convicts 22 Buddhists for anti-Muslim violence, bloodshed in March
- At least 43 people died, thousands displaces in central city of Meiktila
- Riots began March 20, lasted for three days, until state of emergency declared
- Myanmar, also known as Burma, is on path of democratic, economic reform
(CNN) -- Myanmar's courts convicted 22 Buddhists this week for sparking anti-Muslim violence and bloodshed in March, according to a state-run newspaper.
At least 43 people died and thousands more were displaced as a result of violence in the city of Meiktila, in central Myanmar, with the Muslim population sustaining the bulk of the casualties.
Those convicted this week received prison terms ranging from one to ten years in prison, including hard labor, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported.
Ethnic violence threatening Myanmar?
Toll rises from Myanmar unrest
Why Buddhists, Muslims clash in Myanmar
Anti-Muslim sectarian attacks in Meiktila began March 20, reportedly after an argument between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers. The wave of violence that swept the city included beatings, arson and immolations. Many Muslims claimed local police took no action to stop the riots.
After three days, President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency, allowing the military to enter the city and restore order.
Sein said the government did not intervene immediately in order to avoid endangering the country's "ongoing democratic transition and reform efforts."
"I would like to warn all political opportunists and religious extremists who try to exploit the noble teachings of these religions, and have tried to plant hatred among people of different faiths for their own self-interest: Their efforts will not be tolerated," he said.
This week's convictions continue to highlight the fragility of ethnic relations in Myanmar, also known as Burma, as it emerges from decades of military repression. Authorities have released thousands of political prisoners and pursued peace talks with rebel groups in the past two years.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.