High-Level Govt Meeting Held for Rakhine Conflict

By The Irrawaddy 6 September 2017

A high-level meeting including the members of National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) was held in Naypyidaw on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the situation in Rakhine State and issues relating to the rule of law in Myanmar.

Joining the talks were President U Htin Kyaw, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, both of the country’s vice presidents, the Upper House Speaker, military chief, deputy military chief, and the ministers of home affairs, defense, and border affairs—all of whom are the members of NDSC. The only NDSC member absent was the Lower House Speaker U Win Myint, who is now on an overseas trip.

Since the NLD government came to power last year, no meetings of the 11-member executive NDSC body have been held.

The meeting was also joined by National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun, the ministers relief and resettlement and the State Counselor’s Office, and the Deputy Minister for the President’s Office.

The President said that during the meeting, the government raised the security alert as a preventive measure, and emphasized that people should be informed that the top authorities were coordinating on the issues at hand not to cause public panic.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vice President U Myint Swe, Military Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy discussed the urgent repair and construction of fences along the Bangladeshi border, a speedy budget allowance for the process, and the beefing up of security troops in areas where the existing border fence has been compromised.

The discussions also included how security and regional stability is now being carried out on the ground, as well as details of assistance to internally displaced persons. It was also decided that legal action would be taken against those involved in attacks on security forces and civilians, and that humanitarian assistance would be provided without racial or religious discrimination toward anyone affected.

According to the latest UN figures, 146,000 self-identifying Rohingya Muslim refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, and 27,000 internally displaced Arakanese and Hindus are also in need of aid, following militant attacks on police outposts in Rakhine State on Aug. 25, and army clearance operations which have followed.