OIC envoy meets elders in Sittway
A special envoy of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has meet elders from the Buddhist community during a visit to the Rakhine State capital, Sittway.
The OIC’s special envoy to Myanmar, former Malaysian government minister Syed Hamid Albar, was told at the meeting with the elders the conditions under which aid from the organisation would be accepted, Sittway elder U Than Htun told Mizzima on September 3.
The aid would be accepted if the OIC promised to help only Muslims eligible to become citizens under the 1982 Citizenship Act and Rakhine Buddhists, U Than Htun said.
He said Mr Syed Hamid Albar had listened closely during the meeting with the elders but had not made any comment.
Mr Syed Hamid Albar, who was due to leave Sittway on September 4, also visited camps for Buddhists and Muslims displaced by communal unrest.
In October 2012, the government withdrew an agreement for the OIC to open a liaison office in Myanmar after protests against the decision in Sittway, Yangon and Mandalay.
Camps for the internally displaced in Sittway and other cities and towns in Rakhine have been sheltering more than 170,000 people – about 140,000 Muslims and about 30,000 ethnic Rakhine – since two outbreaks of communal violence in 2012.
The OIC’s special envoy to Myanmar, Syed Hamid Albar (right), at the Thet Kay Pyin IDP camp in the Rakhine State capital, Sittway, on September 3. Photo: EPA