November 21, 2016

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Commentary: Shwe Maung fails to confess the truth about Rakhine

Pho Swe

Police forces prepare to patrol in Maungdaw township at Rakhine State, northeast Myanmar, on 12 October
Police forces prepare to patrol in Maungdaw township at Rakhine State, northeast Myanmar, on 12 October

“In the small hours of October 9 — 1:15am or so, we started to hear frequent bursts of firearms. We stayed awake the whole night in silence. And we dared not flee anywhere out of fear.”
“Attackers were said to have rushed into Wetpeik village to violently invade. According to some in nearby villages where mostly Muslims reside, Tatmataw troops discovered many bullet shells in searching for weapons and suspects in the village. During the search, villagers fled. Meanwhile, there were gunshots heard.”
What Ma Mya Htwe of Aungmingalar village in Maungtaw Township recounted is still occupying my mind.
She was telling the gory details about the October 9 violent armed surprise attack at Koetankauk police outpost and Ngakhuya police station under the control of No. 1 border guard police camp at Kyikanpyin, in Maungtaw, Rakhine State.
Frightened by the gunfire and the violence, Ma Mya Htwe and her family escaped from the village to the Sittwe rescue camp via Maungtaw.
“In the Sittwe rescue camp, everything is convenient for us”, Ma Mya Htwe sad. “Displaced people like us were provided with food, clothing and medical care, having no worry about living here.”
Steps are being taken to find the attackers, officials said.
“Area clearance operations are being carried out under rule of law with three objectives — firstly co-operating by combining Tatmataw troops, police force and ward and village societies to recapture weapons taken away by attackers, secondly finding out those who were involved in the attacks to take deterrent action against them under rule of law, and thirdly discovering those who abetted with attackers and punishing them in accordance with the law”, said Col. Htein Lin, minister for security and border affairs, Rakhine State Cabinet.
It is customary for every country and society to punish anyone who commits a crime. There should be no room for suspicions and complaints on the government’s ways of solving the problems, as they have been being carried out in accord with international standards.
In the armed attack made by terrorists, 9 policemen were killed and 48 firearms of various kinds were lost, including 6,624 bullets, 47 bayonets and 164 cartridges. In the response attack, 8 terrorists were killed and two were seized alive.
Attackers wandered about the Maungtaw district, waging assaults. Combined forces of Tatmataw troops and police forces launched anti-terrorism operations, performing area clearance activities in places assumed to be their hideouts to confront the terrorists. This was described in a news release 1/2006 issued by the President’s Office on 14 October.
The news release also stated that 2 arrested attackers and 2 others repatriated by neighbouring Bangladesh were investigated. According to the preliminary investigations, the present events were born of a systematically conspired plan, planned over a long period of time, with the monetary aid and support of foreign-based terrorist organisations. Their plans include taking a stronghold in Buthitaungt-Maungtaw region and organizing Islamists residing there by indoctrinating them with the spirit of extremism to occupy that area. And it is also described in the news release is that internal destructive elements took a tidy amount of money from extremists in the Middle East linked to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO)-related Akalmul Mujahsedan. The State Counsellor has issued instructions to deal with this problem in accordance with the law. In launching area clearance operations, Tatmataw and Myanmar Police Force are performing their tasks according to law, it was reported.
All assess that the present incident is not a usual terrorist attack, but completely intended to harm the sovereignty of the State.
In today’s VOA live broadcast debate program, U Shwe Maung, the former parliamentarian for Buthitaung Constituency, accused Tatmataw troops, border guard police and Arakanese youth of burning down Muslim villages, raping their nationals and killing children.
U Shwe Maung, currently in the USA, led the demonstration in front of the Myanmar Embassy, it was learnt.
By seeing this, all are well convinced that the accusations of international media of violations of human rights of local residents during Maungtaw area clearance operations were intentionally fabricated in collusion with terrorist groups.
In the VOA live broadcast debate program, U Tun Aung Kyaw of the Arakan National Party (ANP) bluntly said that the violent armed attacks were done intentionally to harm the sovereignty and affairs of the State.
“Attackers rushed into the area where police border outpost were situated to attack, taking a lot of bullets and firearms, claiming many lives. Yet, we are feeling that Tatmataw and police forces are carefully dealing with sympathetic minds”, U Tun Aung Kyaw said.
U Shwe Maung disagreed with U Tun Aung Kyaw’s assertions.
What U Shwe Maung reiterated about October 9 attacks so that people might be easily deceived is not surprising. But strangely enough, he did not mention even a word as a man who had ever lived in Myanmar — as to starting to harm the sovereignty of the State, failing to confess and denounce RSO’s subversive plans and lacking a word reminding terrorists of stopping their attempts to the best of their calibre. Their belief and attitude are weird enough. They seem to take the ethic — A stranger must not insult his host — for granted. They do not understand that the interests of the country must be prioritised over the interests of individuals, family, town or race.
Many analysts know well that the Tatmataw and the Myanmar Police Force are performing their duties to defend the sovereignty of the State as a national duty, not launching area clearance operations to find faults with everyone.
U Sithu Aung Myint, a journalist, said, “Since the advent of the occurrence, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi convened an emergency meeting, instructing to exercise rule of law, that is, for Tatmataw and Police force’s response not to be extreme attacks. Afterward, she instructed teams led by the minister for information to reach sites of the attacks to keep racial conflict under control. Those arrested were sent to courts of justice. Police officials concerned said that they sent those arrested and suspects to trial as instructed by the State Counsellor so that ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) can come to investigate anytime. The situations are totally different from those of 2012.
U Shwe Maung still asserted that there was no one who burnt their house by themselves in the world. He continued to deny the arson cases by burning houses with stacks of straw on roofs.
U Tun Aung Kyaw of the Arakan National Party (ANP) added: “I would like to say about situations on the ground. Attackers were still at large. They are hiding in hideouts of villages. It is not reasonable to accuse of rape cases in time of risking their lives.”
Here I firmly claim that his opinions are simple ones. It is like the “elephant in the living room.”

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