Arakan State Sets up New Committee to Prevent Illegal Entry

By Lawi Weng 6 November 2012

The government of Arakan State announced on Tuesday that it has formed a new committee targeting illegal aliens accused of playing a role in recent unrest.

The 18-member committee traveled today from the state capital of Sittwe to Pauktaw Township to inspect five villages, according to Win Myaing, a spokesperson for the state government.

“We formed the new committee to help resolve the conflict. The committee will check who has ID cards and who doesn’t,” he said, adding that security forces will be present when the checks are carried out to prevent people from moving from village to village.

The committee includes representatives from the army, police, immigration and township authorities, as well as Arakanese politicians and Muslim religious leaders, said  Win Myaing.

According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Pauktaw was the worst-hit area in the latest outbreak of violence on Oct. 21, with 18,890 people displaced out of a total of 35,058 left homeless.

The villages now under inspection have mixed populations of Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. The committee will also check the number of refugees staying in camps in different townships, said Win Myaing.

He added that the Union government in Naypyidaw will cooperate with state efforts to enforce immigration laws.

Meanwhile, a committee formed by President Thein Sein to investigate the causes of the conflict that began in June released a statement today saying that it would submit an interim report to the president early next year.

The conflict was also discussed in Burma’s Upper House of Parliament today following a meeting between opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic MPs that took place yesterday evening in Naypyidaw.

According to parliamentary sources, Suu Kyi and ethnic MPs will release a statement tomorrow regarding the Arakan issue.