Friday, August 10, 2018
Rakhine people should be allowed to participate in the government’s efforts to resolve the Rakhine issue, the 88 Rakhine Generation group demanded.
“When committees are formed for the Rakhine issue, we see that foreigners are chiefly included. Other people are also included, but experts from our area aren’t included. We, the local residents, feel that there is lack of transparency regarding this [issue]. We are making the demand for the involvement of experts from our area in the committees that have been formed for the security and regional development of our Rakhine area,” said Khaing Sann Aung, general secretary of the 88 – Rakhine Generation Social Development Organization.
The 88 – Rakhine Generation Social Development Organization is a Rakhine-based organization that has been established by former students who took part in the 1988 Uprising.
A ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Uprising was held at Gitbat Monastery in Sittwe on August 8.
Khaing Sann Aung said the Rakhine people rarely trust existing committees/commissions that has been established by the government since the Rakhine people are not allowed to participate in those committees/commissions and the Rakhine issue cannot be solved effectively with the absence of the Rakhine people.
“Clearly speaking, the Rakhine issue isn’t a short-term issue and it’s a long-term issue. The government needs to show transparency in all committees relating to the Rakhine issue. They need to show their work to the public. In order to effectively end the Rakhine issue, they need to listen to the voice of the Rakhine people and they shouldn’t neglect them,” he continued.
He criticized the government for fearing international pressure and paying attention to the international community while neglecting the Rakhine people.
“Actually, this is the time for politicians, Rakhine political leaders, and experts to meet face to face and consult each other to solve the internal Rakhine issue. I feel sad that we can’t see such kind of [discussions],” he added.
In a statement released by the 88 – Rakhine Generation group to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Uprising, the group demanded four points: to hold a peace conference with all ethnic armed organizations for internal peace, for the State to provide effective protection for rule of law and regional peace and stability, allow the participation of Rakhine experts in Rakhine affairs committee/commission, and for the leaders of Rakhine political parties to aim towards national unity and implement national interest rather than party affairs.