The Arakan Army (AA) suggests the Myanmar government should consider fairly and equally consider the deaths of civilians in armed conflicts raging in Rakhine State.
AA News and Information Department In-charge Khai Thu Kha said this is response to the claim by the NLD party said that death of Buthidaung Township NLD party chairman Ye Thein during detention by the AA would have an impact on national reconciliation.
“The government itself should be reformed. They should consider what is the reason of death of whosoever in the country in finding a solution? They should consider on the death of whosoever in the country fairly and equally. The government itself has discrimination in consideration in deaths of certain persons shows how much they have shortcomings in seeking national reconciliation,” Khai Thu Kha said.
AA reiterated that the NLD Buthidaung Township chairman was killed by heavy weapons fired by Tatmadaw (government troops) and he also said that many Rakhine civilians were being killed by Tatmadaw heavy weapons fire too.
But the Tatmadaw responded by saying Ye Thein was killed by AA torture and not by their heavy weapons fire.
NLD CEC member Dr. Myo Nyunt said, “We hear that Ye Thein has died. I see the death of Ye Thein will have an impact on national reconciliation work.”
The NLD party issued its condolence message and statement on December 27 and it further says that the party strongly condemns all violent acts using arms on all innocent civilians.
“The death of Ye Thein shows the impossibility of resolving political issues by armed violent means and also it clearly shows that there are some organizations which do not want rule of law, safety and security of people and national reconciliation in the country,” the NLD statement reads.
The AA arrested and kidnapped Ye Thein on December 11 while he was working to organize a mass rally supporting State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who was presenting Myanmar’s case in a trial over alleged genocide presented at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at that time.
AA issued a press statement which reads that AA had clashes and skirmishes in Buthidaung, Myebon townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa in Chin State from 22 to 26 December and Ye Thein was killed in one of these clashes.
The statement issued by NLD on December 27 on the death of Ye Thein says that the party is committed to eradicate the bad tradition of resolving political issues by violent means from the Myanmar political community by joining hands with all ethnic people living in the country in their utmost efforts.
The clashes and skirmishes between Tatmadaw and AA have been raging in Rakhine State and Paletwa Township in Chin State since November 2018 until today and nearly 100 civilians have been killed in these clashes. According to the Rakhine CSOs, it is learned that about 200 people have been prosecuted in cases relating to allegedly having contact with AA and over 100,000 have fled from their homes and taking refuge as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in refugee camps.