Deputy Minister Says Government Will Referee in Arakan’s Crisis

Sittwe: Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Phone Swe, said in a recent official meeting that his central government would serve as referee for the violent clashes presently occurring in Arakan State.

Phone Swe told it in the building of Arakan State parliament .

U Phone Swe made the pronouncement in his official meeting on the cleanliness and beautification of the city that was held at 1 pm on 19 June in the house of the regional parliament in the state capital Sittwe.

Regional officials, including the Chief Minister, officials from local political parties, and the town elders also reportedly attended the meeting.

A local lawmaker who attended criticized the minister for his statement and expressed the he does not have a sense of responsibility by speaking out what he should not as a cabinet minister.

The Chairman of the Merchant Association of Arakan, U Shwe Tun Aung, is said to have suggested in the meeting that the government should not act as a referee and should consider ensuring the cause of union and sovereignty in the current emergency situation.

“U Shwe Tun Aung said in the meeting that this is the time for the government to distinguish its nationals and the immigrants and to be decisive for its union and sovereignty, and it should consider what it can do for its own people who are not in a helpless and miserable situation, not thinking just to be a referee,” said a town elder who also attended the meeting.

Afterwards, Minister U Phone Swe is said to have reiterated that he did not intend his statement in the manner U Shwe Tun Aung stated at the meeting.

It was learned that U Phone Swe’s statement from the meeting is now spreading wide among the local people in Arakan State, causing some to wonder whether the government incited the violent attacks in the state so it could step in and act as a mediator in the situation.

Many people are now criticizing Minister U Phone Swe for his statement about the crisis in Arakan State, saying that he should be dismissed from government immediately for serving irresponsibly.