Police Confiscate Anti-UN and INGO Posters

Buthidaung: Local police have reportedly taken down posters that oppose the UN and INGOs that were put up in crowded areas in Buthidaung and Maungdaw in Arakan State.

A UNHCR speedboat harbored in a village in Buthidaung Township. The photo was taken by Narinjara staff last year.

An official of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, U Than Hline, told Narinjara that a group of local monks and residents launched an anti-UN and INGO poster campaign in the early morning on 24 July, but local police took down the posters that had been put up in crowded areas in those towns.

He said the posters were written in large black letters that read, “We Don’t Need UN and INGOs,” and “UN and INGOs – Get Out”.

When asked why the people were opposed to the UN and INGOs, U Than Hline offered his opinion as follows:

“The Arakanese people think that the UN and INGOs are unfair because they have been supporting most of their aid and assistance only to the Bengali Muslims for years in their areas and have totally neglected the local Arakanese people. So, I think they have opposed those INGOs by sticking posters against them in the crowded places in their areas,” said U Than Hline.

However, he added that he does not know how those INGOs will respond to the local people’s opposition against them because no INGO has restarted their operations in those areas yet since the unrest began.

He added that the local people seemed to have started their campaign against the INGOs with the posters because they have heard that they will come back to soon to restart their operations in the area.

According to reliable sources in Sittwe, over 500 people in Sittwe and Maungdaw last week participated in an anti-UN and INGO campaign where protesters wore anti-UN and anti-INGO t-shirts.

Narinjara has also received some information from officials of the UN and other international organizations that they have formally requested the Burmese government help mitigate the growing public opposition against them so they may restart their operations in Arakan State.