State coun­sel­lor ad­dresses Rakhine at­tacks while in India

The Myanmar Times - - News -

“WE as a na­tion are struggling to make the demo­cratic cul­ture take root,” State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung Suu Kyi told re­porters af­ter meet­ing In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi yes­ter­day.

The state coun­sel­lor was on her first of­fi­cial visit to New Delhi where she at­tended the Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi-Sec­toral Tech­ni­cal and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (BIMSTEC) and the eco­nomic group­ing of five na­tions known as BRICS. She re­turned to Yan­gon yes­ter­day.

“We too have many chal­lenges to face, but we are con­fi­dent that these chal­lenges can be over­come be­cause our peo­ple are de­ter­mined to over­come them,” she said at the joint press con­fer­ence in New Dehli.

Her com­ments were made as the Tat­madaw con­ducts a man­hunt in north­ern Rakhine State fol­low­ing a deadly at­tack on three border guard posts. Ac­cord­ing to the deputy min­is­ter for home af­fairs, 30 “at­tack­ers”, in­clud­ing two women, have been killed by se­cu­rity forces.

In a state­ment re­leased on Oc­to­ber 14, the Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice iden­ti­fied per­pe­tra­tors of the Oc­to­ber 9 as­sault as be­long­ing to a ter­ror­ist group called Aqa Mul Mu­jahidin. The state­ment added that the at­tacks were long in the plan­ning and “as­sisted by for­eign fund­ing”. Nearly 400 mil­i­tants could owe al­le­giance to Aqa Mul Mu­jahidin, said the state­ment, adding that the man who or­gan­ised them had re­ceived six months of train­ing in Pak­istan.

How­ever, in an in­ter­view with the Hin­dus­tan Times pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 18, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sounded a note of cau­tion over the cer­tainty of those claims.

“We don’t know the full de­tails. We don’t know when those six months were. And we are also told he had been re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from var­i­ous Is­lamic coun­tries. That is just in­for­ma­tion from just one source – we can’t take it for granted that it’s ab­so­lutely cor­rect,” she said.

The state coun­sel­lor has pledged to han­dle the situation in Rakhine State “fairly” and in ac­cor­dance with the rule of law, but an as­so­ci­a­tion of 16 Ro­hingya ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tions re­leased a state­ment on Oc­to­ber 16 al­leg­ing that the au­thor­i­ties’ se­cu­rity crack­down has been rife with hu­man rights abuses that amount to “crimes against hu­man­ity”. And yes­ter­day at a meet­ing of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion, Mus­lim heads of state called into ques­tion Myan­mar’s treat­ment of the self­i­den­ti­fy­ing Ro­hingya pop­u­la­tion, many of whom con­tinue to be con­fined to IDP camps and are de­nied cit­i­zen­ship.

At yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence with the state coun­sel­lor how­ever, Prime Min­is­ter Modi said India stands “shoul­der to shoul­der” with Myan­mar as it re­sponds to the at­tacks.

Photo: AFP

State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi meets with In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in New Delhi yes­ter­day.

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