Rakhine Party Under Pressure for Taking Position on Military Regime’s Governing Body

By The Irrawaddy 9 February 2021

Sittwe, Rakhine State — Civil society organizations (CSOs) based in Rakhine State have called on the Arakan National Party (ANP), the strongest ethnically Rakhine political party in the state, to step down  from the State Administrative Council (SAC), which was set up by Myanmar’s military after seizing power in a coup last week.

The military government appointed Daw Aye Nu Sein, an ANP spokeswoman, to the SAC on Wednesday.

A total of 47 Rakhine-based CSOs, including the Rakhine Ethnic Congress (REC), Legal Clinic Myanmar, Thazin Legal Institute, Rakhine Women’s Network and youth networks, have released a joint statement urging the ANP to distance itself from Myanmar’s military.

“The Arakanese community should not be under a group of people that unlawfully seized power. Throughout history, the military regime has oppressed the people and failed to keep its promises. As the country and world condemn the military regime that unlawfully took over power with force, we are urging the ANP to review its decision to cooperate,” REC secretary U Zaw Zaw Tun told The Irrawaddy.

In their joint statement, the CSOs said no political party, organization or individual should take part in or support any administration that is politically illegitimate and was formed against the will of the people.

The statement condemns any organization that fails to recognize human rights and the rights of indigenous Rakhine communities.

Some young members of the ANP have resigned from the party following Daw Aye Nu Sein’s appointment.

After Myanmar’s military staged a coup on Monday, a newly elected lawmaker from the ANP and deputy chief to the Arakan Army’s Brigadier General Nyo Tun Aung posted on Facebook that the party should celebrate.

On Thursday, the ANP said it would cooperate with the military government to ensure its representation in Rakhine issues.

“To ensure the ANP’s representation in the unique Rakhine crisis and Arakanese interests, the party will work with the Tatmadaw [military] government as necessary,” its statement said.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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