Bangladesh ar­rests prom­i­nent Bud­dhist char­ity chief

Mizzima Business Weekly - - IN FOCUS -

Bangladesh has ar­rested on ter­ror­ism charges a prom­i­nent Bud­dhist whose char­ity op­er­ates in Myan­mar's strife­torn Rakhine state, po­lice said 25 Oc­to­ber. Po­lice said U Chit Maung, 67, was de­tained as he tried to board a flight to Myan­mar at Dhaka's in­ter­na­tional air­port last week. Po­lice only re­vealed Wed­nes­day that Maung, who heads the Rakhaing De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion, had been de­tained after al­legedly sus­pi­cious im­ages were found on his lap­top. "The RAB (Rapid Ac­tion Bat­tal­ion) ar­rested him over anti-ter­ror­ism charges last week from the air­port and handed him to us," air­port po­lice chief Noor-e-Azam Mia told AFP, with­out elab­o­rat­ing on the charges. Maung's sis­ter Ayethein-Rakhaing said her brother, whose wife lives in Myan­mar, was in­no­cent and de­scribed the charges against him as false. "He works for both the Mus­lims and Bud­dhists. He works there (Rakhine) for peace," said Rakhaing, a for­mer law­maker from the rul­ing Awami League. His wife MraRaza Linn was a prom­i­nent rebel leader turned peace ac­tivist in Myan­mar, ac­cord­ing to Maung's fam­ily. "She is known to Aung San Suu Kyi," a fam­ily mem­ber told AFP by phone, re­fer­ring to Myan­mar's de facto leader and No­bel peace prize lau­re­ate. The rel­a­tive added Linn heads a women's group in Rakhine and is a se­nior mem­ber of the Arakan Lib­er­a­tion Party (ALP), while she used to be a guer­rilla leader. The ALP has been anti-Ro­hingya in re­cent years, a Bangladesh se­cu­rity of­fi­cial told AFP. The Ro­hingya refugee cri­sis has prompted an out­pour­ing of sym­pa­thy in Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity Bangladesh, but has also fu­elled ten­sions with the small pop­u­la­tion of eth­nic Rakhine Bud­dhists liv­ing there. Some refugees liv­ing in over­crowded camps have al­leged that Bangladeshi Bud­dhists, known lo­cally as Moghs, have joined mili­tias per­pe­trat­ing atroc­i­ties across the bor­der in Rakhine. "My brother was killed by Bangladeshi Moghs," Ro­hingya refugee Amirul Is­lam, who fled from Myan­mar, told AFP at a camp in Cox's Bazar dis­trict. Bangladesh po­lice have bol­stered se­cu­rity at Bud­dhist tem­ples near the bor­der, fear­ing lo­cal hos­til­ity among the Ro­hingya could boil over into reprisal at­tacks.

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