The Irrawaddy

Rakhine Committee to Visit Maungdaw

YANGON —  Ten members of the government’s Rakhine State committee—including permanent secretaries from eight ministries—began a two-day visit to conflict-torn Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships of northern Rakhine on Monday.

“After their trip, we will set priorities for implementing recommendations and draw an action plan within two weeks,” chair of the government’s Implementation Committee for Recommendations on Rakhine State U Win Myat Aye, who is Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

The committee was formed on Sept. 12 to implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and a government investigation commission led by Vice President U Myint Swe and includes 10 permanent secretaries from the ministries of home affairs, information, religious affairs, agriculture, transport, immigration and population, education, health and sport, construction, and social welfare.

U Win Myat Aye said the permanent secretaries from different ministries will review recommendations for their respective ministries based on the situation in northern Rakhine.

The ministry of construction permanent security will be investigating infrastructure and border fencing with Bangladesh, he gave as an example.

Maungdaw remains a conflict zone after attacks on 30 police posts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on Aug. 25 which was launched hours after a Kofi Annan-led commission presented long-term solutions to addressing the issues in Rakhine.

According to UN figures, violence has left hundreds dead and over 400,000 Muslims have fled across the border to Bangladesh with reports of significant human rights abuses by government forces. Myanmar government announced about 30,000 Arakanese Buddhists, Hindus and Arakanese sub-ethnic residents also fled violence but nearly 4,300 returned to their homes last week.

Permanent secretary of Ministry of Information U Myo Myint Maung, who is also a member of the implementation committee, said he will not be attending this trip and will send the director-general of the ministry in his stead.