Information Ministry’s press conference on Rakhine issue held in Nay Pyi Taw
Information Ministry’s press conference on developments in Rakhine State including an update on the repatriation plan was held in Nay Pyi Taw on March 14, according to news reports. During the press conference, the Deputy Information Minister Aung Hla Tun said that the main reasons for the exodus of Muslims of Rakhine State to Bangladesh were fear of arrest, and also threats from the ARSA. “Most of these people fled in panic just after the military operation following the terrorist attacks, for fear of being arrested for their involvement or on suspicion,” said Aung Hla Tun. “The second reason was threats by ARSA and its supporters.” He also said that the third reason was many of them were persuaded to flee by the expectations such as chances of resettlement in a third country or better livelihood at the camps in Bangladesh. During the event, Myint Thu, the Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary, said Myanmar has been ready to receive verified returnees from Bangladesh.