New Arakan Chief Minister Pledges ‘Zero Tolerance’ of Rohingya Smuggling

New Arakan Chief Minister Pledges ‘Zero Tolerance’ of Rohingya Smuggling

Gen. Maung Maung Ohn, then Burma’s deputy border affairs minister, is seen in this file photo from 2010. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON —Gen. Maung Maung Ohn, the newly appointed chief minister of Arakan State, vowed during his first speech to the state’s legislature since assuming his new role that he would come down hard on anyone caught smuggling Rohingya Muslims into or out of the state.

The pledge, made on Wednesday, came after reports that two people had been arrested in the state’s Ann Township after police there discovered eight Rohingyas hidden inside their vehicle. The two suspected smugglers, who were identified as children of a former police chief, were traveling to Rangoon at the time.

Under Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Act, the Rohingya are not recognized as one of the country’s 135 ethnic groups, rendering them effectively stateless. Among other restrictions placed on them, they are not allowed to leave Arakan State for other parts of the country.

Speaking in the state capital Sittwe on Wednesday, Maung Maung Ohn called the accused smugglers “traitors of their national race” and vowed to punish them to the full extent of the law.

Thet Tun Aung, a state legislator from the Arakan National Party, said the general promised to do his utmost to address the “Rakhine issue”—referring to the concerns of ethnic Arakanese Buddhists who say the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh—because it is an issue that affects the whole country.

“He [Maung Maung Ohn] said he would have zero tolerance of anyone who violated the country’s citizenship laws,” said Thet Tun Aung.

Wearing civilian dress despite being an active member of Burma’s armed forces, Maung Maung Ohn greeted state lawmakers during his first day in the state assembly, where he was unanimously confirmed as the new state chief minister on Monday after being nominated for the position by the President’s Office late last month.

The appointment initially met with resistance from Arakanese nationalists who opposed the idea of having an ethnic Burman lead the state, but the general has moved quickly to reach out to the state’s Arakanese majority.

According to local sources, he will soon visit Mrauk-U and Kyauktaw townships in the state’s north, where he will meet with farmers who say that their land was taken away from them by the Burmese military.

“A lot of local people are hoping that he will be able to help them get their land back,” said Thet Tun Aung.

One Response to New Arakan Chief Minister Pledges ‘Zero Tolerance’ of Rohingya Smuggling

  1. Rohingya wants protective and fair authority for this issue. If Rohingya are in threat, Rohingya wants to flee from Burma, like defected soldiers in battle. Rubbish, lack of common sense child soldier maung maung ohn must know the normal human behavior. Trying to flee from danger of psy wirathu and idiot Araknaense nationalists are normal. Thein sein asks third world countries to accept Rohinyga who are allegedly not Burmese citizens by bama military thugs, origin from notorious ne win. If thein sein can not convince third world countries to accept Rohingya, Rohingya have right to flee from rapist bama military thugs to other countries by all means. AUs, US are Christian dominated countries but they gave many chance to illegal immigrants to settle in their countries respectively in histroy. We, pseudo-Buddhist bama military thugs and psy wirathy have animal behvaior and thoughts so they make use of killing innocent people to stir up the unrest to beat DASSK, all ethnics and other oppositional political parties to show that bama military is crucial in governing Burma. In fact without ogle bama military, Burma is peaceful and no unrest. Burma does not need military. Maung maung ohn wants Muslim in forever concentration camps for slave job for military use in future porters. Very soon Bama military will suppress idiot Arakanese nationalist, like they will dump psy wirathu after making use of idiot, naive Buddhist monks. The aim is to make unrest Burma to divert attention from the popularity of DASSK, to cheat US, EU to release sanctions, and to make military rich only, Because most of all bama military men are unfair opportunistic and low in education in achievement guys. So, they join the notorious DSA and OTS for having to get license to carrying guns. Those bama military are psudo-Buddhists, low grade and low born to govern Burma instead of staying in military compounds. Those are trained to kill all ethnics, robbing,, raping and enjoying free-lunch. Their wives and children must know what are their bad, unethical, immoral husbands and fathers.

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