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July 15, 2018

State Counsellor: ‘Myanmar does not fear world scrutiny’

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers the speech yesterday morning in Nya Pyi Taw on the government’s efforts in dealing with national reconciliation and peace. The State Counsellor also addressed the crisis in northern Rakhine State Photo: Aung Shine Oo

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday condemned human rights violations in Rakhine State and said violators would be brought to justice, and addressed international concerns.
The State Counsellor made the remarks in a speech delivered from Nay Pyi Taw, in her first address to the nation since the 25 August attacks by ARSA extremist terrorists, which sparked a military response that has forced thousands of refugees into neighbouring
Bangladesh and thousands of others to temporary camps in southern Rakhine.
“There has been much concern around the world with regard to the situation in Rakhine. It is not the intention of the Myanmar government to apportion blame or abnegate responsibility. We condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence. We are committed to the restoration of peace, stability and the rule of law throughout the state”, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
“The security forces have been instructed to adhere strictly to the code of conduct in carrying out security operations, to exercise all due restraint and to take full measures to avoid collateral damage and the harming of innocent civilians. Human rights violations and all other acts that affect stability and harmony and undermine the rule of law will be addressed in accordance with the strict norms of justice.
“We feel deeply for the suffering of all the people who have been caught up in the conflict. Those who have had to flee their homes are many. Not just Muslims and Rakhines but also small minority groups such as Daing-net, Mro, Thet, Magyi and Hindus, of whose presence most of the world is totally unaware.
The State Counsellor addressed international concerns on the situation in western Myanmar.
“I am aware of the fact that the world’s attention is focused on the situation in Rakhine State and, as I said at the General Assembly last year, as a responsible member of the community of nations, Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny and we are committed to a sustainable solution that would lead to peace, stability and development for all communities.
“After several months of seeming peace and quiet, on the twenty-fifth of August, 30 police outposts, the regimental headquarters in Taungala Village were attacked by armed groups. Consequent to these attacks the government declared the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and its supporters responsible for acts of terrorism as a terrorist group in accordance with the Counter-Terrorism Law Section 6, Subsection 5”.
The State Counsellor also said she wanted to explore the reasons why there was an exodus of Muslims to Bangladesh, but also why most of the Muslim community in north Rakhine State did not choose to leave.
“The government is working to restore the situation to normalcy. Since the 5th of September, there have been no armed clashes and there have been no clearance operations. Nevertheless, we are concerned to hear that numbers of Muslims are fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. We want to find out why this exodus is happening. We would like to talk to those who have fled, as well as those who have stayed. I think it is very little known that the great majority of Muslims in the Rakhine State have not joined the exodus. More than 50 per cent of the villagers of Muslims are intact. They are as they were before the attacks took place. And we would like to know why. This is what I think we have to work towards. Not just looking at the problems but also looking at these areas where there are no problems. Why have we been able to avoid these problems in certain areas? And for this reason, we would like to invite members of the diplomatic community to join us in our endeavour to learn more from the Muslims who have integrated successfully into the Rakhine State”, she said.—GNLM and Reuters

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