Rakhine org mounts call for resource con­trol

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYI KYI SWAY kyiky­isway.mcm@gmail.com

A RAKHINE State en­vi­ron­men­tal al­liance has gath­ered 300,000 sig­na­tures call­ing for full state con­trol of lo­cal prop­erty and re­sources.

The Arakan Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­men­tal Net­work (ANREN) be­gan col­lect­ing sig­na­tures in May and con­cluded in Au­gust, or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives said at press con­fer­ence on Septem­ber 12.

“We can say that Myan­mar’s civil war is a resource war,” U Hla Saw, an Arakan Na­tional Party law­maker in the Pyithu Hlut­taw, said at the press con­fer­ence.

Suc­cess de­pends on how open­minded the Tat­madaw and Union gov­ern­ment is, he said. If they are not open-minded, civil war will con­tinue, he added, stress­ing the need for ne­go­ti­a­tions to con­tinue. Find­ing a sys­tem that works for the en­tire coun­try is part of the peace process, he said. The pe­ti­tion is not aimed at di­vid­ing, he added, but at avoid­ing lost op­por­tu­nity.

The peo­ple of Rakhine State should have an op­por­tu­nity to own their own re­sources and make choices about the fu­ture of those re­sources, said U Htun Kyi, a mem­ber of ANREN’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

A fol­low-up cam­paign, in which ac­tivists plan to walk from Sit­twe to Kyauk­phyu town­ships, will take place in Novem­ber, said ANREN ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber U Zayya Kyaw.

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