The Irrawaddy

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Encouraged by Investigation into Inn Din Killings

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi before a joint press conference.

YANGON — State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday said she was encouraged by the Tatmadaw’s investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims at Inn Din village in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Township and its plan to take action against those who committed the crime.

“There were killings in Inn Din village, and it is a step forward that the Tatmadaw has investigated and said that those responsible will be held accountable. At last, a country has to assume responsibility for its own rule of law,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said during a joint press conference with the Japanese foreign minister in Naypyitaw.

Local authorities unearthed 10 bodies near a graveyard in Inn Din village in southern Maungdaw Township on Dec. 19, and the Tatmadaw subsequently launched an investigation into the killings.

The Tatmadaw investigation team admitted on Wednesday that security personnel were involved in the killing of the 10 Rohingya who it says were allegedly affiliated with Muslim militants belonging to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which launched a series of attacks against security outposts in northern Maungdaw last year.

The executions occurred on Sept. 2 and were carried out by three villagers using knives and four security force personnel armed with guns, according to the Tatmadaw statement, which noted that the incident was a violation of the rules of engagement.

This represents a significant departure from the military’s previous position that the security forces committed no wrongdoing during their “clearance operations” in Rakhine State.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that she was encouraged that the Myanmar Army was starting to take responsibility for its actions, as it will help prevent such extrajudicial killings in the future.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono pledged continued support for Myanmar’s democratization and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. The Japanese government will provide humanitarian assistance for the integration of the two communal groups in Rakhine State, he said.

“To achieve development in Rakhine State, it is critically important to solve the root-causes of the problems facing all the people in Rakhine State,” Kono said.

He announced a Japanese government plan to provide 800 billion yen for Myanmar’s democratization process, Yangon urbanization, and improving transportation and electricity networks in the next five years. The Japanese government will also provide cooperation and assistance in the fields of health, education and agriculture, he added.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that she discussed with her Japanese counterpart development of Rakhine State, the repatriation of Muslim refugees, and possible areas of cooperation with the Japanese government to help stabilize the situation in Rakhine State.

The Japanese foreign minister also held separate talks with Myanmar Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and will visit northern Rakhine State.