The National League for Democracy addressed the crisis in Rakhine State in a statement marking Independence Day on Thursday, with the party describing the situation in the country’s west as a “challenge to national sovereignty and dignity.”
Kyaw Zaw Oo, a member of the Arakan National Party’s Central Executive Committee, has become the latest politician to the defect from the increasingly enfeebled ethnic Rakhine political party, which saw its chairman resign last week.
The Arakan National Party will hold a meeting of members of its Central Executive Committee to discuss the resignation letter submitted by its chairman, Aye Maung, who officially signalled his intention to leave the party earlier this week.
In a development certain to shake up the political arena in Rakhine State and beyond, the leader of the Arakan National Party has submitted a letter of resignation, throwing one of Burma’s most prominent ethnic political parties into further disarray.
Speaking at an interfaith gathering, the head of the Rangoon archdiocese denounced the international community’s criticism of Burma over the ongoing Arakan crisis and asked for international support as the country works to resolve the issues blighting its westernmost state.
Two defections this week by sitting lawmakers formerly pledging fealty to the Arakan National Party (ANP) have made clear that divisions within one of Burma’s most formidable ethnic political parties continue to fester.
If there’s one thing that unites Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the army that once tried to crush her, and the majority of people in mostly Buddhist Burma, it is their vehement dislike of Rohingya Muslims, seen as a threat to national security.
Burma’s government said it has evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers amid ongoing clashes in northwestern Arakan State, as thousands more Rohingya Muslims sought to flee across the border to Bangladesh on Sunday.
The Rakhine Advisory Commission, led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has advised Burma’s government to consider 88 “ambitious steps” to bring calm and development to Arakan State.
A Union minister has said the presence of security forces will be boosted in Arakan State, a troubled border region where recent violence has renewed scrutiny on the government, its handling of militants and a 10-month counter-insurgency campaign against them.
In a surprise move, Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing and top officials from the Arakan National Party (ANP) met in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, according to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief.
Burma’s Union Election Commission has allowed the registration of the Arakan League for Democracy, re-establishing a political party that was a formidable competitor in national polls 27 years ago but may further fracture ethnic Arakanese political solidarity in future votes.
Locals in seven townships across Arakan State staged protests on Friday against a new radio station broadcasting in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships and providing Rohingya-language programming, which the protesters view as legitimising the Rohingya population.
The United Nations human rights envoy in Burma has wrapped up her tour of Arakan State, during which she was reportedly denied the opportunity to speak directly to locals living in a village where police filmed themselves beating detained Muslim men in November.