ANP to Address Local Issues With Burma’s Vice President

By Moe Myint 12 July 2016

RANGOON – The Arakan National Party (ANP) will deliver an open letter highlighting local concerns to Vice President Henry Van Thio during a meeting on Wednesday morning with residents in Mrauk U, according to an Arakan State parliamentarian.

The letter will address a number of issues: the excavation of ditches and tunnels that are filled with rubbish and soil from rice mill production; the supervision of businessmen operating in the state; the announcement of local projects before they begin; the need for new bridges; and the demolition of a railroad which runs through a designated Mrauk U archeological zone.

Mrauk U lawmaker Htun Tha Sein said, “The railroad is like a water reservoir. It stores gallons of water, which later overflow during the rainy season and make their way into the city. That’s why we want to abolish the railroad.”

Kyaw Lwin, the divisional minister of forestry, mining, agriculture and livestock, told The Irrawaddy that flooding has driven over 20,000 people from their homes in July, and the ministry has opened over 100 temporary camps for those displaced by natural disasters. Three bridges have been damaged in this month’s floods and one man has died.

He said the state government has provided about 1,200 bags of rice—which would last for one month—and that the army has aided flood victims as well. But the state government has no plans for resettlement nor a sufficient budget to do so.

“The flooding is not as bad as it was last year. Everyone can return when the water recedes,” Kyaw Lwin said.

On Tuesday morning, Burma Army’s Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing accompanied relief flights to Arakan State’s capital of Sittwe and brought emergency food and provisions.

Mrauk U residents waited at a local monastery on Tuesday morning upon hearing from township administrators that Min Aung Hlaing would arrive, but the army chief did not show.

According to a government bureaucrat who asked to remain anonymous, the senior-general will visit Mrauk U and Kyauktaw townships on Wednesday, and then continue to Ann and Thandwe townships.