Views on Rakhine State issue cordially exchanged

Nay Pyi Taw October 12

Security is viewed as an important measure for human rights protection and humanitarian activities. Without security there cannot be any humanitarian aid, said Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI in his assessment of the response of the Tatmadaw and security forces to terrorist attacks in Buthidaung and Maungtaw region during his meeting with Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at Bayintnaung Parlour here this evening where the two exchanged views on Rakhine State issue.

Also present at the meeting together with the Senior General were Lt-Gen Soe Htut and senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army). The Japanese Ambassador was accompanied by Minister- Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission of Japanese embassy Mr. Ichiro MARUYAMA.

At the meeting the Japanese Ambassador said Japanese government understands the crisis Myanmar is facing in northern Rakhine State. Japan appreciates and supports the security measures taken by the Myanmar government and the Tatmadaw in a constructive approach. Japan will continue its assistance for Myanmar’s development under-takings without changing any stance. Sadly, based on information flowing in the international stream, there are arrangements for a meeting on the Rakhine crisis at the UN Security Council. As some facts are totally different from what the Myanmar government and the Tatmadaw are actually doing, there arises a need to let the world know what’s really happening in Rakhine State.

The Senior General expressed pleasure to hear such valuable and constructive advice, thanking the Japanese government for his understanding of the undertakings of the Myanmar government and the Tatmadaw. The Investigation Commission led by Vice President U Myint Swe had looked into detail the terrorist attacks occurred in northern Rakhine State on 9 October 2016. The Tatmadaw formed a group led by Defence Services Inspector General Lt-Gen Aye Win and let it inspect the incident and submitted the findings to the government. The government has also publicized the findings.

In the 25 August incident, coordinated attacks were carried out against police posts and an army base with manpower superiority by taking time to make well plans after the attacks on 9 October 2016. However, the organizations responsible for security defended themselves and controlled the situation in a disciplined manner. Despite deaths of some Bengalis, no violent incidents occurred after 5 September and those terrorist groups fled to the other country.

Regarding the incident that started on 25 August, the Tatmadaw conducted investigations by forming a group led by a lieutenant general. A lot of witnesses were questioned. Investigations were carried out as to how such incidents happened, how many casualties there were and whether or not those incidents were in line with the law. Measures are being taken to make a comprehensive report. When the incident was going on, security forces were instructed to take action in accord with the law. The strength of the security forces was minimized and it was found that all actions conformed to the law. In the attacks of the extremist Bengalis, 38 clashes occurred on 25 August killing 11 security troops, one Tatmadawman and two civil servants. A total of 94 clashes occurred until 5 September. In those incidents, 92 Hindus were murdered and 45 bodies were dug and 192 missing Hindus have not been found so far. Even Bengalis who had contacts with administrative bodies and security forces were killed and there were 32 deaths. They had their throats slashed. As security forces arrived in time, many lives of the local people and police could be saved. Those acts were committed by the ARSA group and the local Bengalis whom it had mobilized. Then, they had fled to Bangladesh with the same language, race and culture as theirs. There are also some Bengali villages whose people did not flee as they did not get involved in the attacks. There might have been part of villages or whole villages having fled due to their involvement.

Then, the Japanese Ambassador said that it needs to disseminate information about these true incidents to the international community. If not, decision may be made over Myanmar by reviewing untrue information. Myanmar’s security forces performed area clearance operations and security measures depending on necessary situations. On the other hand, as about 500,000 persons fled into Bangladesh, many requirements happen there on a humanitarian point of view. On his trip to Rakhine State, the Ambassador said he saw the team led by Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye was providing assistance and health care services to the locals. He gave advice that it needs to share information about tasks of that team with international community.

In response to the discussions, the Senior General said that assistance and medical treatments are being provided not only to displaced Rakhine ethnics, local ethnics and Hindus but also to Bengalis in Myanmar. Tatmadaw airplanes and vessels transport the supplies shifted from items and money donated by well-wishers led by the Tatmadaw to necessary places many times. Myanmar did not totally drive out those who arrived in Bangladesh beyond the Myanmar territory. No genocide happens in Myanmar. Documentary photos show that those Bengalis conveniently left for Bangladesh but they did not flee from Myanmar in panic. They did not accept that officials of the government’s administrative machinery urged them not to leave for. A plan is underway to re-accept those who fled to Bangladesh under the agreements of both countries in 1993. However, they need to abide by existing laws of Myanmar.

After the meeting, the Senior General and the Japanese Ambassador had documentary photo taken together with those present.

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