EC Summons Two Arakanese Parties over Recent Violence

Maung Rammar

Naypyidaw: The Election Commission has summoned two major political parties in Arakan State, the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party and the Arakan League for Democracy, to a meeting over the recent renewed violence in the region, said the leaders of the parties.

U Phe Than, a lawmaker of people’s parliament of the RNDP from Mraybon Township, told Narinjara that a statement from the presidential office was read out and their parties were told to cooperate with the government in order to restore peace and order in Arakan State in the meeting.

“ Commission member U Myint Hlaing along with four other members read a statement issued by the Presidential office to us. They told us not to get involves in the current conflicts and to cooperate with the government in lessening the problems, suggesting that we, the political parties, as well as the commission itself have responsibilities to do so”, said U Phe Than.

U Myo Kyaw, the secretary of the ALD, said the election commission also warned in the meeting that any party or individual involved in renewed communal violence would have action taken against them.

“We, the ALD and the RNDP were summoned and told by the commission not to get involved in the current conflicts and that any party or individual would have action taken against them according to the rules and regulations of the commission if they were found involved in the renewed violence”, said U Myo Kyaw.

President U Kyaw Myint, Secretary U Myo Kyaw and Central executive member U Myo Swe from the ALD, and President Dr. Aye Maung, U Ba Shein and U Phe Than from the RNDP are said to have attended the meeting summoned by the election commission.

When asked his opinion about the solutions to the current problem in Arakan State, U Phe Than said, “It has been a long time since this problem began in our Arakan State. The problem started when the people who illegally migrated from the neighboring country fabricated their histories and tried to grab the land of Arakan in which the Arakanese have been living for over 5000 years. As this is a problem of land grabbing, it will not be possible to solve it in the short term.”

He said the desire of the people should be regarded in taking steps to solve the problem.

“Now the Arakanese people have no desire to live mixing with the Bengali and neither do the Bengali. Both sides feel that they are insecure with each other. So, it is better now to segregate them from each other at this point”, he said.

U Phe Than said that the Bengali should strive for their rights in righteous ways avoiding their alleged intentions to overwhelm the Arakanese and to grab the land of Arakanese. Arakanese have their own rights to protect their native land and culture.

According to official information, 89 people were killed, 136 people injured, 5351 houses were burned down and 32,231 peoples are left homeless due to the new wave of communal violence that started on 21st of October from Kinseik Village in Minbya Township and which then spread to Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, Rathedaung, Mraybon, Kyaukpru and Rambree Townships in Arakan State.

The two leading Arakanese political parties, the RNDP and the ALD were also summoned by the President on the 8th of August to meet and discuss restoring peace and order in Arakan State after the first wave of communal violence took place in June.

The first violence began in June in Maungdaw, Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Mrauk-U Townships and also left 5,338 houses and 134 buildings burned down and 12,242 families comprising of 75,000 people homeless.