Arakan Violence is Unacceptable: USDP

Muslim protesters demonstrate in downtown Rangoon on June 5. (Photo: Aung Thet Wine / The Irrawaddy)

Muslim protesters demonstrate in downtown Rangoon on June 5. (Photo: Aung Thet Wine / The Irrawaddy)

Burma’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) said on Thursday that it will not gloss over the recent violent incidents in western Arakan State.

“We can’t accept the incidents both legally and socially. Those who committed crimes must have action taken accordingly, no matter if they are Muslims or Burmans,” said the USDP General Secretary Htay Oo. “This problem must not be allowed to grow further.”

Htay Oo told Aung Zaw, the editor of The Irrawaddy, during a meeting at the USDP headquarters in the capital Naypyidaw on Thursday, that local authorities must quickly take action against those involved to preserve the rule of law.

On May 28, an ethnic Arakanese woman was allegedly raped and killed by three Muslim men in Kyauk Ni Maw, a village in Ramree Township, Arakan State. Subsequently 10 Muslims were murdered by a mob on June 3 after being pulled from a bus in Taunggok Township. Two days later, a group of Muslims staged a protest in Rangoon calling for legal action in both cases.

Regarding religious freedom in Burma, Htay Oo said individuals should have the right to follow whatever faith they wish since the country is diverse with various ethnic groups including Muslims and the Chinese.

He also commented on the Rohingya issue by saying that there should not be any stateless citizens in any country. A careful verification process should be used with those found to have lived in Burma for a long time recognized as citizens, he said.

“It is not good if those who are eligible to become citizens lose their rights,” said Htay Oo. “We should be brave enough to recognize them as Burmese citizens after careful verification.”

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority living mostly in Arakan State where they are denied Burmese citizenship and subjected to various forms of discrimination.

In addition, Htay Oo said that the USDP has been trying to resolve power shortages through a long-term plan. Recent peaceful protests calling for the basic right of electricity offered a good way to let the government know what people desire, but demonstrations must not have any negative consequences, he added.

Resource-rich Burma suffers rationed electricity and constant blackouts because energy from hydropower plants and natural gas reserves is sold to neighboring China and Thailand instead of being used domestically, claim activists.

“We sell [power] because we need money for education, health and the construction of roads and bridges for our people,” explained Htay Oo.

On June 6, the Burmese government announced the formation of a committee that will investigate the violent incidents in Arakan State. According to state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, the 12-member committee will compile “the causes of the incidents” and legal action taken in each case. The findings will be compiled in a report and presented directly to President Thein Sein by the end of June.


9 Responses to Arakan Violence is Unacceptable: USDP

  1. THIS IS PURELY A CRIMINAL CASE; BOTH THE RAPE AND THE KILLING OF INNOCENT RELIGIOUS PILGRIMS. BOTH CASES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY REGIOS BELIEF. THUS IT HAS TO BE DEALT ACCORDINGLY BY THE RULE OF LAW. PERHAPS CERTAIN GROUP IS PLAYING WITH FIRE TO BURN THE BEAUTIFUL HOUSE CALLED BURMA OR MYANMAR.

  2. Well Yan Pai,

    The way Aung Zaw is going there will never be any need for either Myanmar Egress, the “advisors” or Myanmar Alin any more.

    Htay Oo talking about human rights! Colossal joke.

    Compared to Than Shwe and his followers, Hitler looks like Mother Teresa.

    So what Ye Myint Aung has to say about this? Equality? New Burma, Democracy?

    And why is that this link in the Irrawaddy site is out-
    http://www.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=22049 ?

    The heading reads “The rise of Burma’s Undiplomatic Diplomat”. He after saying the Rohingya were ogres was punished by being sent to Geneva!

    That broken link heralds the New Age of Winston’s Ministry of Truth you guys used to quote. Pity, sad,sad occasion.

  3. Alas! Ohn, not happy on you pension handouts? Or recent changes in Pokies laws upset you rather? Please don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of your antics, out-of-the-world analogies, a little gibe here and a little gibe there. Sometime I imagine you were one of those pretty little girls who were once groomed to become dutiful beautiful wives of ICS but their dreams squashed with unforeseen the Burmese independence. Soldier on, girl! I am loving it!

  4. these men are killer, they killed a lot of arakan people now, they are terrorist.
    A lot of our relatives are helpless now. so please kindly help our arakan people.

  5. Dear Kay khine

    The three accused of raping and murdering an innocent arakanese girl are rapists and murderers. The mob which killed 10 innocent Muslims are terrorists. So you should rein in your own kind and let the justice be done on the 3 muslim murderers and mob of arakanese terrorists.

  6. Myanmar Rohingya minority needs emergency protection help
    Your Excellency,
    Rohingya case has been an international issue since 1942, after 1962, it became worse and worse. Now, when Government needs to change toward democracy, Rakhines whose ideology is based on Fascism called Rakhine Aryan , they have been killing Rohingyas violently ,world’s largest genocide. The Rohingyas’ lives in the whole Arakan state are now in danger, recently more than 200 people were killed , government cut out communication, we can not contact these areas. Rakhine uses DVB burmese broadcasting to implement their Neo-Racists and Neo-Fascist agenda. Rakhines fascists killing Rohingyas, burning their houses, looting their properties. If you want to know more about Rakhine’s Fascism and Racism read the book “Burma’s Missing Dots”. Could you please save Rohingya people for the sake of humanity? Could you please give the Rohingya people protection? On behalf of Rohingya people, we beg and appeal to you to give Rohingya people security

  7. Yet another clown trying to make an important statement…

    >>> “Those who committed crimes must have action taken accordingly, no
    >>> matter if they are Muslims or Burmans” said the USDP General Secretary

    Muslim = religion / Burman = ethnic

    What does he mean with Burman ??? Bamar or ANY of the recognised ethnic groups in Myanmar? Whatever the answer, I know quite a few BURMAN muslims. So these people suddenly are no *Burmans*any longer ??? It doesn’t make sense. These kind of “politicians” are a JOKE!

  8. Criminal violence should be dealt separately from Mob violence. Mob violence is genocide, which UN should take notice of immediatly.

  9. WHO ARE THE ROHINGYA AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT THEIR GENOCIDE?
    The existence of the Rooinga (English form of Rohingya) people in Arakan (Rakhine) State was historically documented in a late 18th century report published by the British, Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In his 1799 article “A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire,” Buchanan-Hamilton stated: “I shall now add three dialects, spoken in the Burma Empire, but evidently derived from the language of the Hindu nation. The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan.” This is the unbiased historical evidence that the Rohingya or Rooinga had lived in Arakan (Rakhine) State before 1824, and therefore, they are  one of the original races of the Union of Myanmar. Henceforth, it must be noted that the Rohingya ARE NOT Bangalis, who recently illegally penetrated Myanmar after its independence from the UK in 1948, and that the term Rohingya was NOT INVENTED by Bangali immigrants in 1950s. The term Rohingya was used in 1799 by the natives of Arakan, who were of Mohammedan (or Islamic) faith.

    According to a scientific discovery published in the prestigious magazine,
    Science on Oct 15th, 1999 (volume 286(5439): pages 528-30), the modern human beings originated in Myanmar about 45 million years ago. Thus, the Rohingya and the Bangali races are derivatives of the Rakhine and Myanmar races; in other words they are cousins of each other. Therefore, the Rohingya are not illegal immigrants of Myanmar, but are one of the original races of Myanmar. In other words, the Rohingya did not migrate illegally from Bangladesh into Myanmar, but the Bangalis migrated out of Myanmar into present-day Bangladesh. Thus the Bangalis are as well an original race of Myanmar, even though they migrated west to present-day Bangladesh millions of years ago.

    The international community has a responsibility to protect the Rohingya from systematic state-sponsored genocide by the Rakhine and the Maynmarese races. Available evidence indicates that the Rohingya are the most persecuted minority (UN report). The Rohingya are the unfortunate victims of the brutal aggression of the Rakhine and Myanmar regime.To falsely associate them with extremism and terrorism is not only preposterous, but amounts to moral irresponsibility and ethical crime. In stead of raising concern and awareness about the severe abuses of Myanmar military regime, chastising the Rohingya for their sufferings is inhumane. They have been living in Arakan (or Rakhine) State since 8th century. They were Burmese citizens at the birth of the Union of Burma on 4th of Jan 1948. Since 1982 they have been illegally deprived of their lawful citizenship by Ne Win’s military regime. In Myanmar, the Rohingya have no freedom of speech, worship, movement or marriage. They have no access to education or healthcare. Thus we, the civilized world, who are privileged to enjoy these freedoms, must intervene to prevent them from becoming extinct. We must speak up and TAKE MEANINGFUL ACTION for restoring the lawful Myanmar Citizenship without any prejudice  to the Rohingya, granting them basic human rights and civil liberties, similar to those granted by the Constitution of the United States of America to all its Citizens without any discrimination based on race, religion, color or national origin.

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