Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
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Daily News Brief on Rakhine State Affairs 05/02/2018

Authorities refute AP’s report on mass graves in Buthidaung Tsp Buthidaung, February 02

Rakhine State authorities said they are looking into reports of mass graves from the Associated Press. Local officials said they interrogated residents near Gu Dar Pyin Village in Buthidaung Township on 2 February. Following the inspection, the team, including officials, police, doctors and local villagers, refuted the AP report, while the villagers reiterated they had not heard of any massacres near their village. The AP reported that at least five previously unreported mass graves had been uncovered in Myanmar, and the bodies were burnt with acid, making them unrecognisable. However, following the trip, the authorities told the media that security forces were attacked by a combined group of ARSA terrorists, and some 500 villagers had attacked the security forces which were enforcing the rule of law on 28 August 2017, following attacks by ARSA terrorists on police outposts. The terrorists and villagers had used machetes and homemade arms in the attack, and the security forces had acted in self-defence until the attackers fled to the south of the village. A security officer was injured and 19 bodies of terrorists were found, along with eight machetes and homemade weapons, including spears, as well as 12 bullets. According to the inspection team, it was found that the bodies of the terrorists were buried, and a case was filed at the Nyaungchaung police station under Section 50 (I) of the Anti-Terrorism Law. “Instead of denying human rights violations, when it receives accurate and confirmed evidence proving allegations of human rights violations, the government conducts a probe into the cases and takes action against anyone who breaks the law”, the government said in a statement. The Rakhine State government said it was extending the investigation of the allegations made in the AP report to nearby villages —MNA, The Global New Light of Myanmar --------------------------- Maungtaw’s development reviewed Maungtaw, February 3 TWO Rakhine State ministers and department officials reviewed the development works underway in Maungtaw Township on 3 February. Firstly they inspected a project to upgrade Angumaw-Maungtaw Road which is supported by Asia World Foundation. The ministers listened to the project engineer’s presentation on the project’s progress and then offered advice. Asia World Foundation is a member of the infrastructure team, which is one of nine task forces under the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development (UEHRD) in Rakhine. The ministers and entourage also visited the batching plant where the concrete cement for the road is produced. The group then travelled to Myinlut Village to inspect the clearance of the land and went on to Kinchaung Village to inspect the ARG rice husk grinding process. The group then travelled to Hla Poe Kaung Camp to meet with internally displaced persons (IDPs). A camp official gave a tour of the construction of 159 small buildings that can house 6 individuals each. The official explained that in one week, the camp will be ready to house about 8,000 individuals. —Aung Ye Thwin, Ko Min, The Global New Light of Myanmar ------------- Rakhine State ministers inspect readiness for repatriation Maungtaw, February 05 Rakhine State ministers and departmental officials inspected the readiness of Nga Khu Ya and Taung Pyo Letwe reception centres, and offered words of encouragement to the staff there. They inspected the construction of a 15-tonne rice mill and a 12-tonne rice drying machine being built by Phoe Kan Khaung Construction Co., Ltd in Kyein Chaung Village in Maungtaw District. Next, the party went to the Taung Pyo Letwe camp and inspected the temporary building where commanding officers of Myanmar and Bangladesh will hold a flag meeting and discuss the readiness of the repatriation process. They also inspected the two countries’ friendship bridge. —Aung Ye Thwin/ Ko Min, The Global New Light of Myanmar ------------------- Bridge connecting Sittway and nearby areas under construction Sittway, February 02 A new bridge connecting Sittway, capital of Rakhine State and its surrounding areas is being constructed by the Road Department under the Ministry of Construction under the supervision of the Rakhine State government. The project was approved in the previous regime and construction of the bridge began in the fiscal years of 2016-2017. The bridge is being built at a cost of Ks. 5 billion (around US$ 3.5 million), as of now the bridge is 75 per cent complete and is scheduled to be open to traffic in the financial years 2018-2019. Upon completion, the local people will be able to directly travel between Sittway and nearby areas by car or boat. —

Khayan Soe Myint, The Global New Light of Myanmar


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