George Soros quietly visits refugee camps in Sittwe
While the media focused on the arrival of the UN envoy to Myanmar last week, American millionaire philanthropist Mr George Soros arrived on a low-key flying visit to check out refugee camps in Rakhine State with the aim of providing aid and boosting development.
After meeting with representatives of the Rohingya community at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon on January 6, the chairman of Open Society flew to Sittwe on January 8 where he met with Rakhine State Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn on his private jet before visiting refugee camps in Sittwe Township.
In their meeting at the Chatrium Hotel, Mr Soros and Mr. Christopher Stone, the founder and president of Open Society respectively, met with Rohingya representatives U Shwe Maung, MP for Buthidaung, former MP for Buthidaung U Kyaw Min, U Kyaw Hla Aung, a former attorney and Rohingya activist, and Daw Wai Wai Nu, the director of the Women Peace Network Arakan.
U Shwe Maung said they discussed the possibility for peaceful coexistence between the Rakhine and Rohingya communities, the experience of violence, the 1982 Citizenship Law, the challenge of citizenship for Rohingya, and the situation in the refugee camps, according to a post on U Shwe Maung’s Facebook page.
U Shwe Maung claimed there was proof that the Rohingya had lived for generations in the territory that is now Rakhine State. He referred to “the Report of Sub Commissioner’s Office of British government, Akhyab 26th April 1826, to highlight the population ratio of 60,000 Arakanese Mughs [Rakhines] and 30,000 Mussalman [Rohingyas].” The MP said that ratio remains today and claimed the Rohingya population in Rakhine State should now be 2.5 million, not the current 1 million.
The Open Society is a network of foundations and partners working in the field of media, social support and education in more than 100 countries.
[Phyu Phyu Zin]