Myanmar has sentenced more than 20 Buddhists to prison for their roles in religious riots in March, including a deadly attack on a Muslim boarding school, lawyers and police say.

The convictions follow earlier concerns among rights groups that Muslims were bearing the brunt of the legal crackdown on suspects involved in the unrest which shook the central town of Meiktila.

The Buddhists were sentenced on Wednesday and Thursday on charges including murder, assault, theft, arson and inciting unrest, said a police official who did not want to be named.

According to state media, which did not specify the suspects ' religion, the sentences ranged from two years for minor offences such as theft to 10 years for murder, with some defendants handed several terms to be served separately.

Some of the charges related to the deaths of students at an Islamic school on the outskirts of Meiktila, according to Ba San, a lawyer who was at the court.

More than a dozen Muslims have been convicted in relation to the violence, with a number receiving life imprisonment for murder.

In May seven Muslims were sentenced to between two and 28 years for their parts in the killing of a Buddhist monk during the unrest, which was apparently triggered by a quarrel in a Muslim - owned gold shop.

Before the latest convictions, only two Buddhists were known to have been sentenced for serious offences during the riots, which drove thousands of Muslims from their homes.

On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) called on the UN to make more efforts to end the tyranny that Muslims are facing in Myanmar.

During a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon, OIC envoys said that the UN should put pressure on Myanmar’s government to resolve problems the Rohingya Muslim community is facing in the country.

“Myanmar is having a honeymoon with the world. The only problem is that that honeymoon is being built on the bodies of the Muslim victims in that country, ” said Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdullah al - Mouallemi.

Hundreds of Rohingyas have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists in Myanmar over the past year.

Roble Olhaye, Djibouti’s UN ambassador and head of the OIC group at the UN, described the anti - Muslim attacks in the country as “ethnic cleansing. ”

“The Myanmar authorities are failing to take the necessary measures to stem the violence, ” he added at a press conference with Mouallemi.

The Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar accounts for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. The persecuted minority has faced torture, neglect, and repression since Myanmar’s independence in 1948.

Thousands of Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine are deprived of citizenship rights, becoming vulnerable to acts of violence, expulsion, and displacement.