Makassar. A rally by the Islamic Defenders Front against the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar turned violent in Makassar on Friday, as protesters attacked two Buddhist temples in the South Sulawesi capital.
The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) began the rally after finishing their Friday prayer at Al-Markaz Al-Islami Mosque, forming a convoy and traveling down some of the city’s main streets.
On Jalan Sulawesi, they stopped and threw stones at Kwang Kong Buddhist temple. A few protesters were seen banging the door of the temple with wooden sticks.
The group also went to throw stones at Xian Ma temple, which is a secretariat office for the South Sulawesi branch of the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi).
Police officers stopped the attack by facilitating a meeting between the FPI protesters and Yongris, head of the Walubi branch.
Yongris told the FPI that Walubi regretted the killings of Rohingya Muslims, including those allegedly conducted by Myanmar security forces. He asked the protesters to urge Myanmar authorities to end the atrocity.
“We really regret the slaughtering,” he said. “We truly don’t approve of violence.”
The FPI demanded that the Indonesian government cut bilateral ties with Myanmar if the country’s authorities failed to end the violence.
Violence erupted in June in Rakhine state in western Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya, leaving about 80 people dead from both sides, according to official estimates.
According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, Myanmar security forces have opened fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during the recent wave of sectarian violence.