Report by Sindhi Khan | Written by M.S. Anwar
Maung Daw, Arakan- October 1, 2013
President of Myanmar Pseudo Civilian Government, U Thein Sein, was on his visit to Arakan yesterday. He arrived in Maung Daw by helicopter around 2PM on 1st October 2013. Earlier, he had visited Sittwe, Pauktaw and other townships.
As soon as he arrived in Maung Daw, he looked around the downtown of Maung Daw. Accompanying him were Immigration Minister U Khin Yi, Deputy Defense Minister U Soe Win and President’s Office Minister U Soe Thein. Then, he held a meeting with Maung Daw Township Authority, selected village administrators in Maung Daw township, Rakhine Community Representatives and Rohingya Community Representatives at the office of Maung Daw district administration.
In the meeting hall, there were two rows: one for Rakhines and another for Rohingyas. In the Rakhine row, it was written “Row for Taing-Yin-Tha Rakhine (Indegenous Rakhines).” While in the Rohingya row, “Row for Bengali” was written. An open discrimination in practice in a meeting with the country’s president!!
During the meeting, U Thein Sein addressed the audience. Follwing is his speech in brief.
“I am glad to see you both community living in tranquility now.
The violence took place because of the low literacy rate here and inappropriate education. Because of the violence, I felt embarrassed during my international trips. I am still facing the same. The country has earned a bad reputation. So, it damaged the country’s economy. Besides, we have to spend so much money for the welfares of the displaced people. The violence affected the country in almost every aspect.
It should not have happened. Can you, both communities, continue living peacefully like you are doing now? Promise me.”
Both communities replied “yes, we can.”
Thein Sein continued his speech “you Muslims (he didn’t use the term “Bengali” for Rohingyas), don’t go anywhere from this country. If you go to Bangladesh, they will not host you. They will drive you out as well. Other countries will do the same. You were born in this country, you will live here and you will die here. Your situation will not forever be like this. Your situation will improve. You will be able to move freely. You will be able to trade with Bangladesh.
Therefore, to achieve everything, it is crucial for both communities to co-exist peacefully. Will you live peacefully?”
Both communities replied “yes, we will.”
During the question and session, Mr. Jahanghir @U Aung Myo Min, a famous teacher and MP at Arakan State Assembly, requested “our students have been unable to continue their study for past two years. It is a great loss for us. I would like to request you to look into this matter and solve the crisis.”
U Thein Sein promised “yes, I will try to solve it and make it alright very soon. You, please, live peacefully. No more problems.”
“And could you both communities hold inter-community discussions and dialogues weekly?
Audience replied “yes, we can.”
Scarcely is there anything in his above speech that we can call destructive. However, the problem with Myanmar regime and military is that they never practice what they preach. They are world-class sociopaths.
The violence in Arakan is a crisis manufactured by Myanmar regime and its allies. So is the low literacy rate among Rohingya community. The government has put up several barriers against the education of Rohingyas. Now, Thein Sein is blaming Rohingyas for being illiterate.
As of the government’s help to the displaced people in Arakan, they hardly help majority victims, Rohingyas, but as many know, most of government and foreign assistances go to few displaced Rakhines and other poor Rakhines (not displaced by the violence).
While he has been on his visit to Arakan, Rakhine terrorists backed by his military and security force are continuing setting ablaze Muslims’ houses in Thandwe Township. More than 100 Muslims’ houses have been burnt down by Rakhine terrorists. It has also been reported that 31 Muslims were killed and five mosques were burnt down by the terrorists. Authority is rather helping the terrorists in carrying out their savageries and atrocities. That is what Thein Sein, his goverment and Myanmar military are about.
Some locals of Maung Daw think that Thein Sein was on a political campaign and the intention behind his visit was to seek people’s support as he targets to be president for another term by forming a new political party.
However, let us be optimistic about what U Thein Sein has said and pray that he practices what he says.