Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Vice-Senior General Soe Win clarifies true situations about Rakhine State while attending 10th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference

Vice-Senior General Soe Win meets Korean Army Chief Gen. Kim Yong-woo.

Nay Pyi Taw September 21

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, while attending the 10th Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference, separately met US Army Pacific Commander Gen. Robert B. Brown, Chief of Army Lt. Gen. Augus Campbell of the Australian Defence Force, Korean Army Chief Gen. Kim Yongwoo and Chief of the Ground Staff, the Japan Ground Staff Self-Defence Force,Gen. Koji Yamazaki. The Vice-Senior General, while attending a dinner held onboard the ship in Han River, also separately met US Army Chief Gen. Mark A. Milley, Canadian Army Chief Lt. Gen Paul Wynnyk, Mongolian Army Chief Maj. Gen. Amglanbaatar Bujinov and No. 9 Division Commander of Bangladeshi Army Maj. Gen. Sajjadul Haque. During those meetings, the Vice-Senior General made preliminary clarifi cations on background history of Rakhine State, bringing of workers from Bengal (now Bangladesh) to extend rice production and build motor roads and railroads after the first Myanmar-Anglo War in 1824 and the opening of Suez Canal in 1869, Mujahidin insurgency with the use of guns and ammunition grabbed by Bengalis after clashes between British and Japanese troops in Rakhine State during World War II, entry of Bengalis after about 30,000 Rakhine people were brutally killed and many houses destroyed in Alethankyaw uprising in 1942, condition of Bengali villages in Rakhine State before 25 August 2017 and the number of fleeing Bengalis to the other country after that date, the number of burned houses, condition of remaining Bengali villages where the local people want to live in peace without fleeing to the other country with facts, figures and maps and wrong accusations against the government and the Tatmadaw over genocide or ethnic cleansing.

Vice-Senior General Soe Win then explained conflict between local Rakhine ethnics and Bengalis in Sittway and Maungtaw over the raping and killing of Rakhine woman Ma Thida Htwe by three people of different faith in Thandwe in 2012, coordinated attacks on the border police headquarters of Myanmar Police Force and three police outposts in Kyeekanpyin on 9 October 2016 and taking away of many guns and killing of security forces, Tatmadaw’s clearance operations in line with the law as the strength of police was not adequate, the government’s rehabilitation work and humanitarian aid, halt to the operations in February 2017 as the community became peaceful and stable again, allowing local and foreign media to go freely to Maungtaw/Buthidaung region to enquire about situations between 9 October 2016 and 24 August 2017 after the formation of Rakhine State Investigation Commission led by Vice President (1) U Myint Swe and Rakhine State Advisory Commission led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, killing and kidnapping of anyone including administrators in Bengali villages for giving information to the above groups, conducting of terrorism training courses for almost all villagers in Bengali villages, arrests of culprits and seizures of guns used in training, killing of local ethnics working on their farms for their livelihoods by cruelly slashing their necks and heads with swords and spears in a bloodthirsty manner, threatening the Rakhine ethnics to leave their villages, fleeing of some ethnic villagers during the period, relocation of them with the help of security forces and taking care of them with evidential photos.

The Vice-Senior General then continued to explain the recommendations made by Kofi Annan over the Rakhine State issue on 24 August, the exclusion of the points the Bengalis have hoped for in the press conference, including the exclusion of the use of the term “Rohingya” which is not included in 135 ethnic groups in the press conference as demanded by the Bengalis in Rakhine State so that they can get the right to direct citizenship, coordinated attacks on 30 police outposts and the regimental headquarters by groups of over 300 Bengali men and women each with small and large deadly weapons including sticks, swords, speakers and jingalis with the intent to attract global attention at the UN General Assembly in September, killing of Hindus residing together with Bengalis for not accepting to convert to Islam, the government’s declaration of Bengali terrorist group as the administrative machinery and national security were hampered, minimum use of force to defend in accord with the international military law and existing internal laws as per the duty assigned by the government, following of rule of engagement (ROE) by each and every soldier, some Bengali villagers’ arrest and handover of terrorists to police stations as they want peace, providing of humanitarian help by the government and security forces for most of fleeing ethnic people in Maungtaw/Buthidaung region, providing of humanitarian aid to the Bengalis from Bengali villages who arrested terrorists who entered there to enlist new recruits, providing of medical treatment to them, fleeing of ethnic people from whole villages, killing of an ethnic woman and her two-year-old child by slashing their necks as they could not manage to flee and killing of a Hindu woman and her five-year-old child for not accepting to convert to different religion after disfiguring their faces with evidential photos.

He said according to the questioning of ARSA terrorists who were arrested and sent by Bengalis, whole Bengali villages were forced to receive terrorism training and to accept members after reading oaths holding a Koran. The Vice-Senior General then explained exposition of names of terrorists and their photos and the fleeing of only a minority of people from Bengali villages to the other country as they want to live in peace with facts, figures and photos.

In response, the foreign army chiefs said the information they received now was contrary to what they had known earlier. They said they realized Myanmar was facing a complicated and difficult problem. They suggested that independent human rights organizations, international media and credible and famous people should be brought to Rakhine State to counter the biased news released by foreign media.

Vice-Senior General Soe Win replied that international media are only found to be producing biased news and information. Some of relief items provided by INGOs and NGOs were found in strongholds of terrorists. Therefore, Myanmar has to act considerably.

The foreign army chiefs said the discussions made by the Vice-Senior General would be verbally reported to their concerned leaders. They said they hoped that the Myanmar government and the Tatmadaw will be able to overcome the challenges in the best possible manner. Then, memory sticks containing photos on true events were presented to them.


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