Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing responded to the ongoing violent attacks in Rakhine State, calling them “instigation-related occurrences, not religious disputes” at a meeting with Mr. Bert Koenders, the minister for Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw.
He stressed the importance of abiding by the existing laws of the country regarding the current issues in Rakhine State.
“Tatmadaw is here to protect the citizens from depredation as a priority, and to co-operate with all countries in accord with international laws and regulations’’, said the Senior General.
In answer to questions as to Tatmadaw’s attitude towards difficult situations that involve two different societies, a rise in disputes in Rakhine State and other challenges, the Commander-in- Chief of Defence Services replied: “ Under colonial rule, the Bengalis from Bangladesh arrived Rakhine State as labourers and a lot gathered here in the state.
They did not go back to their origins, causing disputes with the locals. Rakhine local residents could not tolerate this, as that community did not follow Myanmar traditions. Those Bengalis did not undergo the process of 1982 citizenship law”.
He also pledged that the Tatmadaw will help them with the process to acquire the rights they deserve and to have those entitled to the law decided under the programme of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)”.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing also received Ambassador of Norway to Myanmar Ms Tone Tinnes yesterday, discussing peace making process in Myanmar.
At the meeting, the Senior General stressed the importance of willingness of armed groups to achieve peace and to understand the nature of the democracy.
They also discussed the role of the Tatmadaw in peace making process in Myanmar and assistance from Norway to the peace making in the country.
At the meeting, Senior General also stressed the need for ethnic armed organizations to participate in the Union Peace Conference in 2017 based on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.