Lawmaker Criticizes Govt on Rakhine Issue

Lawmaker Criticizes Govt on Rakhine Issue

SAM Staff,
U Hla Htay Win / Htet Naing Zaw

Former chief of general staff for the Myanmar Army U Hla Htay Win criticized the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government for not doing enough to prevent international interference in Rakhine State on Thursday.

The ex-general, who is now a lawmaker in the Lower House, urged the NLD-led government to take action against a UN fact-finding mission appointed to investigate reports of extensive human rights abuses by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State, among other places in Myanmar.

He also said the government had failed to oppose use of the word “Rohingya” by the UN and the US Embassy in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government does not recognize Rakhine State’s Muslim minority Rohingya among the country’s official ethnic groups, and labels them as “Bengali” to suggest they are interlopers from Bangladesh.

Attacks on police border guard posts by Rohingya militants on Oct. 9 of last year flared tensions among Buddhist and Muslim communities in Rakhine State, which remain largely segregated since anti-Muslim violence in 2012 and 2013 displaced around 140,000 people.

Myanmar Army “clearance operations” in response to the attacks led to the displacement of 75,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh and allegations of torture, extrajudicial killings, and widespread sexual violence, prompting the UN Human Rights Council to assign a fact-finding mission to investigate.

The ex-general is a central executive committee member of the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and was elected to the Lower House in the 2015 general elections to represent Naypyitaw’s Zayarthiri Township.

SOURCEThe Irrawaddy