Canadian Burmese Protest Against using Misleading Reports of Arakan Violence

Toronto: Hundred of Burmese in Canada joined a demonstration in Toronto on Saturday, protesting against the use of false information by some Canadian media on the recent sectarian violence in Burma.

The demonstration was held in front of two prominent buildings in Toronto – the Star Newspaper offices and the State Governor’s building at 2pm on Saturday.

In the protest, the Burmese demonstrators urged Canadian media to double check facts whenever they write about the current conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma.

“In the last couple of weeks, there were two demonstrations staged by a so called Rohingya group, a Burmese Muslim community in Canada. The Toronto star wrote two stories after the demonstrations. But in the stories, some facts and photos are wrong and fabricated,” said Ko Aung Moe, who is from Dawei, a leader in the demonstration.

The Toronto Star wrote two stories about genocide in Burma carried against Muslims with many counterfeit photos, allegedly given by Muslim demonstrators, he said.

“The fabricated stories damaged our country image and affected the Burmese community here.  After publishing the stories, there were some problems which took place between the Burmese and Canadian communities here. So we demanded that the Star stop writing biased stories without double checking,” Ko Aung Moe said.

The demonstrators had a chance to meet with an authorized person from the newspaper during the demonstration and explained to him what they faced after the two news stories were published by the newspaper.

“We pointed out to him some facts in the stories were wrong. After that he understood and promised to contact us in the future for such news story before writing. He told us to collect information from both sides, not one side, in order to allow for  accurate news stories” Ko Aung Moe said.

The demonstrators afterwards marched to Queen’s Park where the government building is. One member of the Canadian parliament joined the demonstration and gave appreciation for the Burmese community.

The demonstration was concluded at Queen’s Park around 4 PM.