Rakhine State to Send Lawsuit Against Associated Press to Union Govt

By Min Aung Khine 7 February 2018

The Rakhine State government has submitted to the Attorney General of the Union a plan to sue The Associated Press over its reports claiming the existence of mass graves near Gutar Pyin village in Rakhine’s Buthidaung Township.

At a meeting on Feb. 5, Rakhine government ministers agreed with remarks made by the state attorney general that the AP news report affected not only Rakhine State, but also the entire Union.

“I reported to the state government that the case has negative impacts not only on Rakhine State but also on the entire Union. They agreed with me. So we submitted the plan to the attorney general of the Union,” Rakhine attorney general U Kyaw Hla Tun told the Irrawaddy.

The plan was submitted on Feb. 5, and Law Officer U Kyaw Maung from the Rakhine State Attorney General’s Office has been tasked with working out the necessary legal procedures, according to U Kyaw Hla Tun.

On Feb. 1, the AP reported that hundreds of bodies had been found in five mass graves near Gutar Pyin village in Buthidaung, Rakhine State. It said the bodies had been burned with acid in an apparent attempt to destroy them.

The Union government ordered the Rakhine State government to investigate the claims.

The state government sent an investigation team led by the Buthidaung Township administrator to the site, but the team found the claims to be untrue, according to a statement released by the Union government on the evening of Feb. 2.

The AP responded to The Irrawaddy’s request for comment that it stood by its reporting.

Translated from Burmese by Myint Win Thein.