First Arakan Rebel Liaison Office Opens in Arakan State

Kyauk Taw: The Arakan Liberation Party, or ALP, opened its first liaison office in the strategic town of Kyauk Taw, on the upper Kaladan River, close to Chin state’s Paletwa and near Indo- Burma border. The opening was on Monday, five months after the organization signed a peace deal with the Arakan state government on the 5th of April 2012.

“The opening ceremony for the office began at 9AM on Monday. Over 1000 local residents attended the opening ceremony,“ said Daw Saw Mrara Zarlin, who opened the office as a leading person from the ALP.

Colonel Htin Lin, the Arakan State Minister for Border and Security Affairs and Arakan State Chief of Justice U Hla Thein attended the office opening ceremony as delegates of  the Arakan state government while Daw Saw Mrara Zarlin, the central executive committee member and Kahing Soe Than Auang, the central committee member attended as ALP delegates.

“We hope we are able to communicate with the government through this liaison office and promote better relationships and understanding between the government and the ALP. Another benefit is that we also can communicate with the Arakan people more closely in order to help them work with the government to solve problems they have faced,” said Daw Mrara Zarlin.

She also said that she has planned to set up internet facilities in the liaison office with the aim at distributing and sharing news and information to local people. It would include media from outside and inside Burma.

The ALP and the Arakan State Government signed the following five points in Sittwe on 5 April 2012:  to stop fighting each other, to open liaison offices in Kyauktaw and Paletwa for mutual communication, not to cross each others’ areas holding weapons without prior information or negotiation, to allow members of the ALP free travel across the nation, and to continue negotiations for activities to build peace and development inside Arakan State.

The agreement was reached after a two-day peace meeting was held in Sittwe Hotel on the sea beach in Sittwe on the 4th and 5th of April 2012.

Arakan Liberation Party and Arakan Liberation Army were established in 1973 at the KNU area on the Thai- Burma border. The bases of the ALP are currently on Thai-Burma border and Indo- Burma border.