Govt Investigation Dismisses Allegations of Rohingya Killings

Myanmar, Rohingya, Duu Chee Yar Tan, Maungdaw, human rights, Muslim, Buddhist, conflict

A Rohingya man searches the charred remains of burned down homes in Duu Chee Yar Tan village in mid-February. (Photo: Lawi Weng / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — The Burmese government on Tuesday released its final report on the alleged killings of dozens of Rohingya Muslims in Duu Chee Yar Tan village in northern Arakan State in January and it again strongly denied that any such violence took place.

Much of the English-language 20 page summary of the report also focused on expressing the government’s displeasure with the UN and Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) Holland, which have made statements indicating that violence did occur in the Rohingya village.

Kyaw Yin Hlaing, secretary of the commission and an adviser to President Thein Sein, and Tha Hla Shwe of the Myanmar Red Cross Society and chairperson of the commission, told reporters during a press conference in Rangoon that they had found no evidence of killings of Muslim civilians.

“There were allegations of deaths, but we don’t see evidence of deaths,” said Tha Hla Shwe. “Where are the bodies, where were the dead bodies buried, what happened to the bodies? Nobody could tell us.”

Kyaw Yin Hlaing said a conflict may have broken out between local residents and security forces following the disappearance of police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein, who is now presumed to be dead, and added that the commission saw damaged homes during its visit. However, he said they did not find evidence that security forces had caused all the damage.

In late January, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she received “credible information” indicating that police and an Arakanese Buddhist mob killed about 40 civilians during a raid on Du Chee Yar Tan, a Rohingya village in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, during a Jan. 13 operation to find a police sergeant who had gone missing in the village.

UN human rights rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana said on Feb. 20 that Arakan authorities had informed him that “100 policemen with live ammunition” had carried out the operation. He said he received “allegations of the brutal killing of men, women and children, sexual violence against women, and the looting and burning of properties” during the operation.

However, the government has vehemently denied such claims and several investigations have backed up the government’s position. The final report by the Investigation Commission for the Duu Chee Yar Tan Incident released Tuesday was no different.

The investigation commission was established on Feb. 6 and conducted its field assessment from Feb. 15-21, with a mandate that focused on finding the “root cause” of the death of the policeman, according to state-run media. It was also tasked with investigating the cause of a fire in west Duu Chee Yar Tan following the alleged killings, and to suggest measures for preventing further sectarian conflict.

The report recommended that the government begins citizenship assessment of residents in northern Arakan State in accordance with the 1982 Citizenship Law. It urged the government to build up trust between Muslim and Buddhist communities, while also suggesting that authorities “enhance security measures and border control” in the region.

Most Rohingya are denied citizenship by the 1982 law and the government refers to them as “Bengalis” to suggest that they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, although many have lived in the country for generations. International human rights groups say the Muslim minority in northern Arakan State suffers from a wide range of rights violations at the hands of the Burmese government and its security forces.

The report also recommends that the government keeps a tight control on the Arakan State operations of international NGOs such as MSF and UN organizations, and it uses strong-worded language to condemn the organizations over their statements regarding the Duu Chee Yar Tan incident.

“It is unfortunate that … [the incident] has become an issue that the international community views as a matter for discussion with the Government of Myanmar. The UN contributed in no small way to the conflation of this issue, by issuing reports without verifying the facts,” the report said.

“Instead of working together with the Myanmar Government to resolve misunderstandings and problems, the UN has focused on trying to prove the veracity of its report, thereby wasting its time,” the commission wrote.

“The actions of INGOs and the UN to date have been to enhance their reputation among their donors at the expense of inflating tensions in the host country,” the commission claimed. It went on to recommend that “rules and operational procedures be set for such entities and that […] firm and effective action should be taken against those organizations that break the rules.”

Late last month, the government decided to suspend the operations of MSF Holland in Arakan State, where the medical charity provided vital health care services to tens of thousands of Rohingyas who are barred from accessing government clinics.

The report also took aim at media organizations that published the statements made by the UN, MSF and human rights organizations researching the situation of the Rohingyas.

Without going into details the commission recommended that “strong measures be taken to counter the false allegations made by media. This includes timely sharing of information with the public and establishing channels and mechanisms to counter the false allegations.”

Additional reporting by Paul Vrieze.

8 Responses to Govt Investigation Dismisses Allegations of Rohingya Killings

  1. Myanmar regime made a big mistake by not allowing international organization to investigate. We need to let the international community know that Bengali people in Rakhine State always fabricate or make up stories for their own gains.

  2. So you have to accept the report of fake Goverment’s fake investigation and no need for investigation by International group. Burmese president will send extremist monk Wirathu to instigate for another conflict. There is no justice for poor Rohingyas. But one day justice will come for these people. All UN, NGO and MSF are biased for Rohingya. Only uniform changed Military thugs are reliable.

    • the Bengali villagers killed a police officer. Then those murderers made it to Bangladesh overnight where they joined groups of Bengali Rohingya thugs. Now you cry ‘VICTIM’ and call for international community to come to the rescue of the murderers and their accomplices … well done, zaw win, and thanks to your SHAHRIYAH!

  3. 1982 citizenship law, only this phrase is enough to show the attitudes of this Government towards most of its peoples who are deprived their full citizenship. Shameful Government. Why is has been too difficult for them to come up with the truth and balanced solution.

  4. With all respect, “There were allegations of deaths, but we don’t see evidence of deaths,” said Tha Hla Shwe. “Where are the bodies, where were the dead bodies buried, what happened to the bodies? Nobody could tell us.” .. You are right. How can people tell you because you were not there to see the dead bodies. You were there not to see the dead bodies.

    Nobody could tell us also where and waht happened to the bodies of estimated 3000+ people( government figure 340) from Rangoon street massacare during September 1988. The real news of 41 dead bodies from cramped police truck from Insein to Lanmadaw in March 13 1988 came only after six months.

  5. Myanmar gov: should not let their staff ( police force) missing and dead. The staff must be fully secured . It is very shameful to let local authority killed by Rohingyas as if it is Rohingyas territory. It would be necessary to conduct military training to local Buddhists and they must be well equipped if gov: forces are not enough to be deployed there. Western command should be based in Maungdaw instead in Ann township. Myanmar gov should be aware that they are facing insurgence in the border areas of all states except West since Arakanese lost their empire in 17th century to Burmese. If Arakanese are let to feel that they are unprotected and insecure , they might go against the gov:
    It is very unacceptable and sad to make false information by International bodies to make unrest, unhappiness, insecure the local people in a poor state in an extremely poor country. Myanmar gov: must learn from this fact that this kind of false information allegations has had taken by Rohingyas since many years back convincing international bodies to interfere and made them to side them. This is not the first incident. Many incidents had taken place since 1977 onwards.

  6. All of these are govt agents these Myanmar red cross and other govt agencies are not free and fairs all of those who are settled by govt could be trusted govt was master mind all of these violation,if the govt is so confident than why is not allowed international investigation obviously there are some thing to be hide.No resident was allowed to enter the victim village till 3 days during the time the death bodies and victims had been hidden burning rohingyas villages are still going on.M.S.F.was creating disturbance to their ways of massacring rohingyas now the bloody rohingya killers are free handed no one can disclose their secret genocide.The international community is also responsible of massacring of rohingyas.

  7. Most of the people have precasted about the repots of all the internal comissions .These all must be the same !They all have to lie as they are paid for that.

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