Protests against Foreign NGOs increase in Arakan

Maung Aye

Sittwe: Protests against foreign NGOs including the UN are increasing amongst the nationalities in Arakan State.

In a statement publicized by the Committee of All Town People for Assisting Arakanese Nationalities in Sittwe, the capital town in Arakan State, yesterday stated that they would reject any hardly-enough and useless aid provided by the UN and INGOs to the Arakanese national people.

“Using human rights as a cover, those NGOs have interfered in the political affairs of our nation. The terrorists have killed our national people and burned down their houses taking protection from them. Everyone here also knows that those terrorists have launched attacks on our peoples because they have got protection from them”, said Ko Tun Lin San, one of the leading activists on the committee.

Their statement also said that the UN and INGOs should respect the sovereignty of their nation and should support establishing peace, security and the rule of law, and preventing international terrorism and efforts for resolution of armed conflicts in a nation according to the UN’s Millennium Declaration in 2001.

“The UN and INGOs however have totally ignored the Arakanese nationalities giving all of their supports only to the immigrant Bengali Muslims who call themselves as Rohingya in Arakan State”, said the statement, “As a consequence, many local Arakanese nationalities have suffered from losses of lives and properties on their own land.”

The committee has welcomed what President U Thein Sein told the High Commissioner of the UNHCR, Mr. António Guterres, concerning the Rohingya issue in their meeting on 11 July 2012 in its statement as well.

The survivors of the recent violent attacks who are taking shelter in Aloetawpyiy Buddhist Monastery in Maungdaw have reportedly refused to accept medical aid provided by the INGOs on 4 July 2012.

It is also reported by the RFA Burmese Program that the survivors of the unrest taking refuge in Shwezayde Buddhist Monastery in Sittwe have also turned down the food aid provided by the WFP on 6 July 2012.

“Yes, the Arakanese survivors of the unrest are still in need of emergency relief aid, but they have continually rejected the aid from the UN and INGOs. They have seen that those international organizations are biased and refused to receive their aid”, said Ko Khine Kaung San from the Wanlark Foundation, a local NGO voluntarily working to assist those survivors.

In an interview with the RFA Burmese Program, U Ko Ko Gyi, one of the prominent leaders of the 88-Generation Students, said concerning with the INGOs as follow.

“The remarks and opinions made by the responsible officials of the international NGOs with the data and information about Burma’s polity they know are not in conformity with the situation in our nation and have caused adverse affects on the emotions of our citizens. For example, I have found the cross-signs on the writings of the UN and INGO in the camps of the survivors I have visited”, said U Ko Ko Gyi.

At least 10 employees of the UN and INGOs have been arrested by the security forces in Maungdaw and Sittwe on allegations that they have been involved in the recent violent unrest. The responsible officials of the UN have confirmed the arrests of their employees as well.

The local residents also said those employees of the INGOs were arrested because they were involved in the recent terrorist attacks on the local Arakanese peoples taking protections from those INGOs.

It is the statement of the Committee of All Town People for Assisting Arakanese Nationalities in Sittwe.