Union officials yesterday said they had satisfied the requirements of diplomatic officials for northern Rakhine State in the aftermath of the deadly armed attacks of 9 October.
Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung, Chief Minister of Rakhine State U Nyi Pu and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin held discussions yesterday morning at the Rakhine State Guest House in Sittway with the UN resident coordinator/humanitarian assistance coordinator and ambassadors of foreign missions. After the meeting, the officials and diplomats visited Rakhine ethnic groups in Mawrawadi Village and Muslims residents of Zawmatat Village, where they were told that the village was peaceful, with no one involved in the recent attacks.
They also visited Alethankyaw, a village of over 11,000 inhabitants. Although the majority of the villagers are Muslims, there are a few Rakhine ethnics. Both groups live together peacefully, they said.
They visited Kotankauk Police Station, one of the places that was attacked on 9th October, and Kotankauk Village. The village, which is mostly populated by Muslims, greeted them with a protest holding placards written in English. In Sittway, UN resident coordinator/humanitarian assistance coordinator and diplomats held a press conference at the Sittway Airport.
At the press conference, the representatives and heads of foreign missions advised the government to help fulfill the needs of displaced persons, some of whom are beginning to return to their homes and to permit the access of international aid to the region, saying that the government has allowed the international community to monitor the situation. They also said that they were studying the situation on ground and had an opportunity to cooperate with the government, but it was still difficult to tell whether accusations of abuse were true or not. No woman told them that they had been raped, they said. The most important issue of all was the rule of law, they added. They said that they found some security measures and it was necessary for every country to take such measures in case of such attacks.
They also said that the government has abided by the international norms and they also urged it to continue to abide by the international norms. In addition, they said that the government allowed them to visit the villages they wanted to and imposed no restrictions on them, despite the accusations. They said they urged the government to allow international investigative bodies to refute the accusations and other international organisations, saying that every high-ranking official they met was ready to accept their opinions. They were also told to take the opportunity for observers to examine the situation.—Myanmar News Agency