After Shooting in Malaysia, Arakanese Targets Admit Potential Religious Link

Dr. Aye Maung, center, arrives at Rangoon International Airport on Friday. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

An apparent assassination attempt on two ethnic Arakanese leaders in Malaysia on Wednesday night may be related to current religious and social strife in Burma’s western Arakan State, the men said during a press conference in Rangoon on Friday.

The two leaders, who visited Malaysia from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7, escaped unharmed from the shooting incident, which involved unknown gunmen in Kuala Lumpur.

“It could be related to the incidents inside the country [Burma],” said Dr. Aye Maung, who serves as the Arakan National Party’s second in command, referring to violence between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims in Burma.

Aye Thar Aung, who heads the recently formed Arakan National Party (ANP), and Aye Maung were in Malaysia to meet with Buddhist Arakanese migrants working in the fellow Southeast Asian nation.

Two gunmen on a motorbike shot at the men as they were leaving the Law Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur at about 11pm on Wednesday, said Aye Thar Aung. Both leaders were unharmed, but the BMW that was escorting them was damaged by the gunfire.

“When I heard the first shot, I thought it was a flat tire,” Aye Thar Aung said. “But then we heard someone saying, ‘Shooting!’ ‘Shooting!’ in Burmese. Our driver sped away. One of the gunmen on the motorbike had a beard. The place where we were shot at is near a construction site and there was no CCTV [closed-circuit television cameras] available.”

A total of six Arakanese, led by Aye Maung and Aye Thar Aung, arrived to Muslim-majority Malaysia on Jan. 30 and relied on Arakanese social groups in the country to handle security arrangements for the visiting delegation. Aye Maung, who is also a lawmaker in Parliament’s Upper House, said that because it was a social visit, they did not inform the Burmese Embassy of their travel plans and opted not to request protection from the mission in Kuala Lumpur.

Following the incident, Aye Maung informed the Burmese Embassy, which reported the case to Malaysian police, said Zaw Htay, a President’s Office director, on his Facebook page.

“As soon as the embassy was informed of the incident, the embassy contacted the Malaysian authorities and implemented security measures for Dr. Aye Maung and his men. Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs also escorted them during their travel back from their Le Meridien hotel to the Kulua Lumpur International Airport for their security.”

The Burmese Embassy in Malaysia is collaborating with the Malaysian government to investigate the incident and apprehend those responsible. No suspects have yet been detained in connection with the shooting.

Aye Thar Aung and Aye Maung flew back to Rangoon on Friday, where hundreds of supporters welcomed them at Rangoon International Airport.

The incident on Wednesday comes amid ongoing tensions in Arakan State between ethnic Arakan Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims. Violence between the two groups has flared on several occasions since June 2012, with Rohingya bearing the vast majority of casualties and displacements resulting from the unrest.

Religious conflict in Arakan State has drawn international concern, and regional leaders have also expressed fears that the situation could spill across borders. Those fears appeared to materialize in late May 2013, when violence among the Burmese migrant community in Kuala Lumpur left at least two people dead and was widely linked to Arakan State’s troubles.

In the early days of that same month, Indonesian police arrested four men who were later found guilty of attempting to bomb the Burmese Embassy in Jakarta. The bomb plot’s mastermind said the conspirators were attempting to avenge the killings of their Muslim brethren in Burma.

9 Responses to After Shooting in Malaysia, Arakanese Targets Admit Potential Religious Link

  1. Chicken have come back home to roost.

  2. World media are bias for Rohingya Muslims and Rohingya Muslims are described e as innocents or victims of Arakan people & Burma government.
    Rohingya Muslims are illegally staying in Burma ,attacking Burma and spreading fabricated their history, exaggerated stories, misleading news labeling Arakan people & Burma government as evil society.
    Because of that The number of innocent Burma citizens being killed in Burma Malaysia, Indonesia by some groups (Rohingya are directly or indirectly involving ) are increasing .
    UN, OIC ,HRW,INGO,NGO , Arakan Project,MSF and world communities are shunting up their mouths and turning their blind eyes on that situation.

    • You should mobilize support and bring the case to disqualify the Rohingyas as non-citizens to the International political arena-ICJ- rather killing them at your will without any accountability to any one and authority. In the event the Rohingyas are disqualified as non-Arakanese by the ICJ, they (Rohingyas) would definitely accept the verdict of ICJ, so as to leave Arakan without posing any threat to you. Why no Rohingyas is still allowed to their villages (Du Chara Daung and Gadussara)if there was nothing happened. You are lucky, for you have been seriously supported by your co-religionist Burmese Buddhists all the way to attack Rohingyas. You are creating problem in the family of Asean, thus you must wash your fanatism away from your brain.

  3. Why these attackers are known by international bodies ? International bodies are blind when Arakanese are attacked . It is quite apparent that the leaders are attacked. Now, why don’t you open your mouth towards your so-called Rohingers. Burma is a poor country. Arakanese in Arakan state are most poor and now they are more poorer for the violence / riots. The cause of the riots might be for some other reasons. on the other hand, so-called Rohingers are helped by International bodies but poor Arakenese are discriminated to get that medical or social help. In fact, all these battles happen in their own land owned by their ancestors.

  4. these two criminal, who committed genocide,ethnic cleansing against rohingya ethnic in arakan deserve capital punishment in court but not to shot unlawfully. RNDP party led by animal Dr. aye mg,aye tha aung, arakan state government led by hla mg tin, other rakhine extremist in the country systematically committing Genocide, crime against humanity but nobody dare to Question. iam sure rakhine community staged shooting drama so they can blame rohingya ethnic in the country. we have experienced since 1942 what rakhine magh are doing for rohingya to eliminate from Burma soil.Burma head of state Thein sein, who made whole world to laugh at him for denying rohingya existing, although proof rohingya are in the country thousand ago.Burmese Government from head of state to low level official, journal, newspaper media around the country deserve MEDAL OF FRAUD for their did such as calling rohingya as bangali ,alleging rohingya burnt their own home denying every right the rohingya ethnic deserve in the country.I don`t know people in the power are mad or lost scene the way they hate Muslim community in the country.

  5. According to this RFA/DVB/Irrawaddy reports, two Arakan political leaders, U Aye Thar Aung and Dr. Aye Maung of RNDP were being attacked in Malaysia. Although, both Rakhine Leaders had escaped from injury there will be serious consequences and implications regarding that violence.

    1. Firstly, there will be intensense speculation about the identity of attackers; all fingers will be pointing to the Rohingyas and Muslim-extremists in Malaysia. Let me assure you, there are stereotyping of ‘all Muslims’ as violent-prone extremists that has been throughout the world already and, most importantly, now in Burma.

    2. Secondly, this kind of attack will lend unprecendented credentials towards nationalistic RNDP leaders like Dr. Aye Maung as ‘patriotic’, ‘national hero’ and is ‘most worthy’ of his leadership. It is very fortunate that those inside the car were unhurt. Otherwise, if anyone dies, he/they will become eternal ‘patriotic heroes’ to the masses of which no one will ever have a mean to counterbalance their influence.

    3. Thirdly, the RNDP/Rakhine Nationalists are known to have exploited the events like the murder of Ma Thida Htway. These Rakhine Nationalists will not hesitate to exploit this Malaysian incident, of which they will be seeing as their political fortune to mobilize the masses.

    4. Lastly, unless these culprits are quickly found in Malaysia, the responsibility for this incident will remained on the head of Rohingyas in Malaysia. Then the Rohingyas in Arakan will have to bear the brunt of public anger regardless of the truth about who have done this deed.

    In views of mere politics, this kind of violent attack is most un-timely, stupid and, like 9/11 incident of USA, just lending a good hand to racist extremists ( check my old blogs about war in Iraq). I dare say.

    U Ne Oo, Australia.

  6. We should condemn all kins of extremist actions. Who ever it may be either Muslims or Buddhists group practice terrorist works local and international community should not support them. Killing peoples in any sorts of action is great sin. Politically no benefits for community and for the country.

    The best way is start to talk for peace, then only both parties will get better understanding for the society. Arakan violence was a terrorism so now terrorism want to start by attempting to kill RNDP party leader is also terrorism. Terrorism to terrorism will never end. Only establishment of PEACE can bring the whole community to stay in PEACE.

    Therefore from now let us come to a table for reconciliation for the peaceful co – existence.
    No body can driven whole Muslims from Burma ( Myanmar ) and Arakan. If any body make plan to driven out Muslims from Burma ( Myanmar ) that plan will be failed.

    This world stands not one group of peoples and only one religion. The world itself is
    multi – nations and multi – religions, so how can one group of people attempting to monopolize
    the other. This may be a dream, at last it will lead to vanish.

  7. It’s no big deal that Aye Maung and Aye Thar Aung got shot at. Even innocent and hard working Myanmar people are sometimes attacked and murdered in Malaysia.

    I doubted this sentence: “As soon as the embassy was informed of the incident, the embassy contacted the Malaysian authorities….” For ordinary Myanmar people in Malaysia, the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is the most difficult office to reach because the mission rarely picks up incoming phone calls despite having three telephone lines. 🙁

  8. Why are you so afraid living in Malaysia? If you are innocent, no need to worry. Revenge will be never stop.

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