‘Bul­let’ jumps gun on IS Shan State ex­pan­sion story

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

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

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