‘Bullet’ jumps gun on IS Shan State expansion story
REPORTS that members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group had entered Myanmar appear to be incorrect, said the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday, after a journal self-published by controversial former MP U Hla Swe last week declared the arrival of the caliphate in Shan State.
Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary U Tin Myint said no such intelligence had been received, and that the Bullet Journal report arose as the result of an unfortunate translation issue after his ministry relayed orders for various departments to remain vigilant.
“The ministry ordered all its departments, including the Myanmar Police Force, to be alert for the security of the country. That order is relayed from district level to village level. Administrators at village level misunderstood [due to a] language barrier, so it was reported that the IS had arrived in Myanmar,” he said, addressing the media at a press conference at the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
The order reportedly urged authorities to be wary on days of special significance, and to inform administration offices if they suspect anything out of the ordinary. A mistranslation led to the report in former Union Solidarity and Development Party MP U Hla Swe’s journal, which claimed the IS had arrived in Hpekon township.
“We have not had reports so far that IS members have entered Myanmar,” U Tin Myint said, adding that attempts have been made to shore up the borders despite no evidence of IS activity in neighbouring countries.
The press conference was held to address the 100-day action plan, covering the activities of the government in its first few months.
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun