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July 09, 2020

Senior General meets Mr. Kofi Annan

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing holds talks with Chairman of the Investigation Commission on Rakhine Mr. Kofi Annan. Photo: MNA

Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing received a delegation led by Mr. Kofi Annan, chairman of the The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
At the meeting, the Senior General remarked on how everyone is interested about the situation in Rakhine and how Myanmar culture places emphasis on written records and advised the delegation to carefully scrutinise their report.
Mr. Kofi Annan said the commission’s report recommends socio-economic development in Rakhine, attracting more investment and providing basic necessities. An important factor, the report said, is providing national identification documents and registration. Annan also said there should be more dialogue between villages and communities to reduce tension and promote reconciliation. The report also advises cooperation with Bangladesh for better border security and fighting drug trafficking.
In response to Mr. Annan’s recommendations, the Senior General said National Verification Cards (NVCs) are required according to the 1982 Citizenship Law as proof of identity. Being verified also allows access to basic education and healthcare. He said there are still cases of murder and disappearances among local residents in Rakhine, so the situation needs to be contained before it becomes worse, the senior general said. There has also been news of armed groups arriving near the border areas, and area clearance operations on May Yu Mountain are still not complete, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said.
The Senior General said both domestic and foreign journalists and reporters are allowed entry into Rakhine State, but they need to report the true facts. He said the Tatmadaw provides assistance in humanitarian programmes, but he said there needs to be a careful review of how aid is able to reach the training camps of violent attackers.
Schools have been opened in Buthidaung and Maungtaw, but some religious leaders prevent people from attending the schools for various reasons, the senior general said. There are also Bengali students from Buthidaung and Maungtaw currently attending the University in Sittway, he said.

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