State Parliament Approves General as Arakan Chief Minister

Gen. Maung Maung Ohn attends the opening ceremony of a high school in Myawaddy, Karen State, as deputy minister for border affairs in 2013. (Photo: Kyaw Kha / The Irrawaddy)

Gen. Maung Maung Ohn attends the opening ceremony of a high school in Myawaddy, Karen State, as deputy minister for border affairs in 2013. (Photo: Kyaw Kha / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — The Arakan State parliament announced on Monday that Gen. Maung Maung Ohn has been confirmed as the state’s chief minister, against the objection of some Arakanese lawmakers and community leaders who had urged the central government in Naypyidaw to appoint one of their ethnic Arakanese brethren to the post.

Saw Nyein, a state parliamentarian, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that “there was no one who proposed letters in parliament against him becoming chief minister” during the opening day of the latest parliamentary session on Monday. “Therefore, the chairman of parliament announced that he has become the chief minister, in accordance with the Constitution.”

Maung Maung Ohn was nominated by President Thein Sein last month following the former chief minister Hla Maung Tin’s resignation on June 20. Arakan State leaders had asked the president to select an elected official, preferably one belonging to the state’s majority ethnic Arakanese population.

Lawmakers in the state parliament were given a June 27 deadline to submit any formal objection that they might have to Maung Maung Ohn’s appointment as the region’s chief minister. Saw Nyein said there were lawmakers who had expressed displeasure at Maung Maung Ohn’s nomination, but no formal letters of objection were put forward.

Despite his appointment as chief minister, Maung Maung Ohn appeared in the state parliament on Monday in full military uniform, and Arakan National Party state lawmaker Aung Mrya Kyaw told The Irrawaddy that general was not required to resign from military service in order to assume the post.

“It is important that Gen. Maung Maung Ohn manages and protects the homes and property belonging to the ethnic Arakanese in the region, [as is] how he will resolve conflict in the region and how he will enforce the rule of law in order to prevent more conflict,” said Saw Nyein, who also belongs to the the ANP.

“Our region has many conflicts. Gen. Maung Maung Ohn should listen to our ethnic voices. If not, he will not be able to solve conflicts on the ground,” he added.

Religious strife in Arakan State between the Buddhist majority and minority Muslims has plagued the region since 2012. About 140,000 Rohingya were displaced that year and now live in crowded camps to which they are confined by state authorities. About 89,000 Rohingya are estimated to have fled by boats last year in a desperate attempt to reach Malaysia as conditions in Arakan State have deteriorated.

4 Responses to State Parliament Approves General as Arakan Chief Minister

  1. Own Rakhine Groups massed up for the chance to have a Rakhine PM.
    U Saw Nyein of the new still very much nationalistic ANP is very much wrong when he in his capacity tells the new PM of Rakhine State “…..Gen. Maung Maung Ohn should listen to our ethnic voices. If not, he will not be able to solve conflicts on the ground…. “.——-
    ANP is not all Rakhine people and still Rakhine people which for good reason support the ANP have long time already noticed that there is a very much fool game played on the back of all Rakhine people also by and with ANP and specially former RNDP and my friend Dr Aye Maung.
    Gen. Maung Maung Ohn should instead listen to all Rakhine and in Rakhine living people, have at same time an ear and securities for potential investors to Rakhine state. Allof them need peace and stability, all want growth and prosperity, the Rakhine people are looking for security, health system improvement, j000obs, good money earnings, education and international standard vocational training….all this was planned and on the way. Coincide or planned all went down the drain through Dr Aye Maungs RNDP established in 2010 the election year. Who or what ever behind does not matter for people in Rakhine — but a change from the mass, misery, most poverty ( poorest state after Chin now are the Rakhine ) in Myanmar goes clearly on the account of Dr Aye Maung and RNDP supported by all 969 Monks which do not live up to Buddhas teachings or standards.
    Being my self one which never went to the army, opposed army in my young time…..I am as living in Rakhine State since 20 years as a developer in health and tourism direct to the people, I am very much happy that U Hla Maung Tin pulled the plug and resigned as a nice Gentleman style PM,- absolutely not capable of solving the issues of an aggressive minority in Rakhine State, The NAZI style Force of Myanmar….. I am happy today to see the new PM of Rakhine State Gen Maung Maung Ohn being an Army General in Uniform as Rakhine Prime Minister. The Rakhine people, the simple one the blind follower do not deserve different from this. When Aye Maung and Saw Nyein asking for a Rakhine to be PM than pls look at your self,- you all have proven enough that you were in the past 2 years and 1 month in no way capable and ready by your mind and heart to handle the difficult situations in Rakhine, ethnically, religious, economical – you all just failed to be ready for a 21th century democracy in a global world out of your century old hate to others from the west. All Myanmar suffers, got negative news and treatment, Myanmar people in foreign are looked bad at – mainly cause how RNDP, Dr Aye Maung, some 969 and other Buddhist monks orchestrated events or at least were in no way ready to prevent them.
    It is irony that Gen Maung Maung Ohn is and will remain as an Army General – so at same time did a very good job as deputy Border Area, very well connected to the real needs of the people and here also the Rakhine people at the ground,- well respected by the international community through the INGO s so sure much more mature as leader in Rakhine ( a battle field by a minority group of civilians as RNDP, 969 and the one s jump on burning trains )- more mature as the Colonel Hla Maung Tin.
    Thank you to President Thein Sein for a clear sign that Law and Order is the main priority in Rakhine State from now on. Every Rakhine nationalist should think twice which way to go from now on, Myanmar wants to join the world at 21st century and not not fight 17th century battles anymore…
    I am full of confidence that Gen. Maung Maung Ohn, also as a Burma will bring Rakhine people back on track, back to development and save and secure live. He will understand the INGO room to work the investment needs and at the end the Rakhine People are better off for sure than they all were the past 2 years from 3rd June 2012 deadly massacre at Taunguk town…. I wish all Rakhine people to prosper quick.

  2. Sending a cat to guard fried fish? No fish will be left for the Arakanese then. The Arskanese know best how to safeguard the Arakan and the Arakanese people. This cat is just a thief.

  3. passs 2days current your current regim planing one more dirty politic game at mandalay ,always muslim is main target for them , they are finding the reson not to include Aung San Sue Kyi comming election,thats why creating religious problem with muslim small minority sooner or later military junta announce will take over the country , same back to old histroy again .,you have to shame of your self not to protect the country business&people you have good time as well as you have bad time also ,pass 2years all this happen in budist terriorist mobs back by police and army just stand and watching the show destroying the building ,shops,office,muslim religious place mosque .country should be run by politic adviser ,not by astrology ,your whole current regim one day same like thaksin regim,no place for you in myanmar

    • The military dictatorship from 1962 to 2015 (to nowww) have killed, killing, will kill every good things belong to this country, not only cinema, Human Dignity, Good character, Sport, economy, education, human rights, replaced them with dirty crooky foxy mindsets, dirty skin, ugly faces, malnourished body, unskilled slavery brain. The Military Dictatorship is much much more dangerous than you may ever ever imagined and uncomprehensiveible. SADLY, Burma has been died long long ago. It needs 5,000 years to recover (if the Military died TODAY).

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