OIC’s sudden visit to Arakan

( Narinjara News, 7 September 2014)


Arakanese refugee camp in Sittwe

A delegation of OIC led by Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, the former foreign minister of Malaysia, made a sudden visit to Sittwe, the capital city of Arakan State, on 3 September 2014.

During the two day visit, the OIC team met Arakan State chief minister General U Maung Maung Own and  also the leaders from both Arakanese Buddhist and Muslim community in Sittwe.

U Hla Thein, a spokesperson of Arakan government, confirmed the news of OIC team’s meeting with the State chief minister at 6:30 pm on 3 September, where the visiting delegates offered to support the government with humanitarian aids. Though U Maung Maung Own denied to receive the aids.

“There is now stability in Arakan. The State chief minister did not take the risk of receiving aids from OIC apprehending re-immerge  of instability in the State,” described U Hla Thein.

The Arakan government had explained to the OIC team about ongoing citizenship securitizing process over the Muslim population. Once the process is over the Arakan government may need supports and aids for  rehabilitating the Muslim families.

The visiting delegation also discussed  with some other Arakanese leaders in Sittwe and explained about the OIC’s probable  role and aids to Arakan.

U Thar Pwint, a prominent leader among the Arakanese Buddhist community said that the OIC team described them as a non-religious body without any bias to Buddhists. Moreover they clarified that OIC would not intervene in any internal affairs of Arakan or Burma.

However, U Thar Pwint replied back that the OIC did not come with any aids to the victims of cyclone Giri where thousands families were severely affected across Arakan. Hence the aids after the sectarian violence in Arakan  may be looked with suspicions with the motive of the donors.

The OIC team also visited the refugee camps in Sittwe belonged to both Buddhists and Muslims on 4 September before leaving for Yangon.