60 years old villager U Tun Seen Maung was killed in front of his wife by Myanmar soldiers and dumped the body into the soil-pipe of toilet on July 13. His rotten body is found on July 31 and buried near Chein Khar Li village. 

AN. Sittway. July 31, 2020.

Family members and villagers find the body of late U Tun Sein Maung 18 days later inside the soil pipe of toilet at the resident in Chein Khar Li village in Rathedaung township today at 7 am. 

The body is badly rotted and halitosis after it was left and sinking under the water inside the toilet’s soil-pipe for 18 days and since July 13. 

Maung Bu Aye, son in law of the later villager, identifies the dresses that his father in law was wearing on the day Myanmar soldiers shot and killed at his resident and in front of his wife, Daw U Sein Nyunt, on July 13. 

The villagers and rescue volunteers entered into the village and rescued the trapped villagers on July 15. They also looked for the body of U Tun Sein Maung at his resident, but they did not find him.

Daw U Sein Nyunt testified on live video that released on social media Arakan Info Desk on Facebook page on July 16 and explained how her husband was killed.  

She said three soldiers shot and killed her husband in front of her at the resident and then pushed the body into the big bag when most villagers were already fleeing on July 13. Later on, the soldier left the resident. She was fleeing to Done Peik village alone with other villagers. Since then she had not seen her husband. 

Arakan Army and Myanmar army were fighting near the village in the morning on July 13. AA claimed it killed 20 Myanmar troops. 

The troops entered into the village immediately after the retreated from the battle while firing guns and shells. Three villagers were injured and a 60 years old man, U Tun Maung Sein, was shot and killed and dumped the body into the toilet soil-pipe. 

Some villagers have been retuning to the villages from IDP camps and nearby villages after the soldiers withdrew from the village in July last week.

The neighbors and relatives get the bad smell from the toilet. Then they remove the soil and find the rotten body in the pipe filled with the water. 

Myanmar army spokesperson and minister of Rakhine State’s border and security affair denied the incident and said there was no one killed in the village. 

Daughter and wife of late U Tun Sein Maung earlier suspected their loved one was distracted somewhere in the village after the soldiers killed him. 

Lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt confirms the body of late U Tun Sein Maung is found at his resident today. 

“I have already informed the township administer to assist the relatives and villagers for the funeral service. At least the family and relatives will have together to give last respect and payer service,” he said. 

“I cannot go to my father funeral service in the village today because I am sick. My husband is going to there,” said the daughter of late U Tun Sein Maung. 

Arakan News receive several video clips and photos today of gathering the body and giving funeral service of late U Tun Sein Maung in Chien Khar Li village. 

The body of 60 years old villager put in the bag and dumped into the soil-pipe of the toilet since July 13 is found on July 31 at the resident in Chin Khar Li village, Rathedaung township. 

Photo provided by Myo Lwin. A villager injured by landmine in Gyeik Chiang village on July 30. 

AN. Sittway. July 31, 2020.

Landmines killed 2 civilians and wounded one more villager in Gyeik Chaung village in Zu Kaing village track in Ann township, southern Rakhine State, on July 30.

The landmine exploded in the farm in mountain located 2 miles from Gyeik Chaung village and killed U Maung Tin, 60, on the spot on July 29. 

An additional mine exploded near the dead body in the farm and injured Ko Supper Chay, 30, and U San Win, 48, on July 30 when they along with 8 other villagers were looking for late U Maung Tin in the farm, who did not appear at home. 

Ko Supper Chay died on the way to the village when the villagers were bringing back the two injured men. 

Some villagers said the body of late U Maung Tin were left in the farm because when the villagers they were carrying the two injured men to the village, they could not bring the dead body to home. 

On July 26, several shells fired from Myanmar army landed in Thea Kan Htaung village and injured a woman and three more villagers in Zu Kaing village track. 

Arakan Army statement said AA and Myanmar army were fighting on Yangon-Sittway Highway near Zu Kaing village on July 24. 

Thousands of villagers have been fleeing after the fight and shells landing in Zu Kaing village. 

Moreover, tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Ann and to mainland Myanmar from Dar Let village tracts after Myanmar army has been launching ‘clearance operation’ since June. 

Entire village tract contained with 38 villages have been looked down since last November and recently cleared the villagers and forced to relocated. 

Several villagers were also injured when Myanmar soldiers fired shell to a passenger boast near Zu Kahing village in early June. 

Location map of civilian casualties by landmine 

Myanmar military truck was attached by Arakan Army near Mark U in last summer. 

AN. Sittway. July 30, 2020.

Myanmar army and Arakan Army are fighting near Mrauk U this morning at 5.30 am.

Local residents reported AA is attacking Myanmar troops near Oak Pho Kan villager under the mountain bank of Thin Kyit Taung early morning, about 2 miles away from the downtown.

Myanmar army has been staying in Thin Kyi Taung Pagoda since summer time. The troops are coming out of the pagoda. Then AA is attacking the troops 

Two helicopters are firing missiles and dropping bombs near the village.

No civilian causality has yet reported.

“Two military helicopters are firing missiles and dropping bombs near the village and mountain for 30 minutes at 2.35 pm,” said local charity organization volunteer Khine Murn Chan. 

All cars and trucks have been stuck on the highway and near the town since this morning. 

Local people report all villagers from Oak Pho Kan are fleeing. 

Arakan Army has reported it has been clashing with Myanmar army in Ann, Buthedaung, and Minbya townships this week.

The report said AA and Myanmar army were fighting near Zu Kine village in Ann township on July 24. Similar fighting was taken place near Min Hwra in Minbya township on July 27. On the same day, AA attacked Myanmar army bases in Paletwa and Buthedaung townships.

The rebel force  claimed it killed dozens of Myanmar troops and seized large amounts of weapons.
Arakanese internally displaced villagers in Ann township living under temporary camp. 

AN. Sittway. July 30, 2020. 

Several articles appeared on international media that China is accused to providing weapons to Arakan Army, the most significant accusation is the recent seizure of Chinese made weapons in Mae Sud on Thai-Myanmar border town. 

Irrawaddy News widely covered the news and wrote the weapons would be smuggled to Arakan State (Rakhine State). But Thai authority said it would be linked with Karen border security guard, formerly Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

Arakan Army denied the accusation. 

On the other hand, Myanmar army fired several rounds of artilleries into the location of Kyaukphyu-Yunnan gas and oil pipelines in the second week of July, where no military clash was reported, that raised Chinese leaderships’ eyebrows in Beijing. 

Moreover, Myanmar soldiers have been searching and arresting dozens of civilians in Kyaukphyu township, mostly from the villages locating near the pipeline. Thousands of villagers have been feeling and displaced in Kyaukphyu township in recent weeks after the military rounding up. The internally displaced villagers have sought shelters in Buddhist temples in the town.

Local analysts assume that the attack on the pipeline is Myanmar army is gravitating Chinese to involve in war between the Myanmar army and Arakan Army, mainly Burmese are forcing Chinese to take side with the Myanmar military. 

“Myanmar army is playing with two Asian supper powers, Chinese and Indian, for equilibrium to counter Arakan Army, in which Myanmar army wants China to stop supporting AA but seeking more assistances from India—intelligent, technology, cooperation, and ban on border crossing—for its counter insurgency operation,” said an analyst who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

Both China and India have multi billion dollars projects of seaports, roads, river way, and pipeline in Arakan State while neglecting the local people but only relaying on the central government and the military for security and benefit sharing. 

These international projects are undeniable factors of widening armed conflict in Arakan State—resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties and over 200,000 local populations displaced, whereas billions of dollars revenues providing to the military top brasses and central government when all local people are left behind and deepened into chronic poverty. 

Local right group, Arakan Oil Watch, called to halt all foreign projects in Arakan State, including the Chinese pipelines and Indian seaport and river way projects. The organization said these projects are fueling the conflict in Arakan State. It said the hard currency goes into the hands of military and purchasing jet fighters and weapons that are using in the military operations. 

The Chinese project known as Sino-Myanmar pipeline and transit oil tanker port in Kyaukphyu township. The twin gas and crude oil pipelines are 479 miles long and connected to Kunming in Yunnan Province in China. These projects have been invested billions of dollars by Chinese state own China National Petroleum Corporation and contracted with Myanmar state owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. China also has the oil tanker port in Kyaukphyu. 

The Indian has two projects, a seaport in Sittway that connecting to Kolkata and Kaladan river project that links to Paletwa in Chin State and then connecting by road to Mizoram State in northeast region. Indian has invested 484 million dollars and ambitious to open a trade route to southeast Asian nations. 

The road and bridge construction projects in Paletwa township have been somehow unyielding due to Myanmar army and AA intensifying fighting in Paletwa region since 2019. Several Indian engineers were briefly arrested by AA when they were coming to Kyauktaw by speedboat in last November. Hardware supply ship was also attacked by AA last year.

After the arrest of Indians, some Indian analysts recklessly accuse that AA is working for China and attempting to stop Indian project in Arakan and Chin states.

AA commander Tun Myat Naing denies the accusation and says China does not physically supporting AA but indicated its projects and employees in Kyaukphyu to be secure and protected. Instead, he urges Indian authority to engage with Arakanese people.

He said on an interview taken by Chin ethnic media in this months that Indian had arrested and drove out AA members from India territory when they were treating in hospitals for wounded in the battles. Moreover, India had killed several Arakanese leaders and arrested in an island in Adman sea in 1998 when they were invited by Indian authority to set up a military base. 

He said this bad record of Indian authority should be amended and urged directly engage with AA for sake of all people. He said dealing alone with Myanmar central government does not work at all. 

For the accused of Chinese support, he said if a powerful country like China supports AA, he will be able to take down Naypaytaw, the capital city of public administration, and assist to liberate all other oppressed ethnic people. 

What he tries to explain the accusation of Chinese support is AA does not get any support from China. 

The weapons caught in Mae Sud were in fact belong to Karen border guard force, GBF, according to the local analyst. He told our news agency those weapons were bought by Thai traders from Laos border and tried to sell BGF.

He said Irrawaddy news tried to linked it with AA and ARSA, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, as an attempt to discredit AA without concrete profs.

He said, “What a joke. AA does not need these kinds of junk weapons. Besides, how can AA pass through the over 15 police and military check points in order to reach Arakan State by land transportation? What a nonsense.” 

“In fact, Karen BGF is buying more weapons to give pressure on Myanmar government and to protect the Chinese mafia funded billions dollar-worth new city project known as Shwe Kokko project. BGF and Myanmar military are working hand in order to success the project on Thai-Myanmar border,” he said. 

There is rumor that Myanmar government is giving pressure on BGF to halt the Chinese funded Shwe Kokko project on Thai-Myanmar border. For this, BGF is building up more forces and aiming to protect the illicit casino town project. 

Another neighboring supper power India is wooed to Arakan conflict to take side with Myanmar military. 

The Arakanese analyst advises Indian authority should be very careful when dealing and supporting Myanmar army because it is a huge trap.

Indeed, some Indian lobbyists and commentators are recklessly approaching Indian government to take side with Myanmar army. Instead, they should urge Indian government to engage with the Arakanese people and AA. Otherwise, Arakan people will see Indian as enemy so that their projects in Rakhine and Chin states will not be successful. 

As Chinese part, they are cleaver enough and see through AA is largely supported by its own people. Chinese analysts have been written many articles and highlighted the role of China as the country has very minimal leverage in Arakan conflict but advised it should be dealt with domestic solution. 

The key point of Arakan conflict is political correctness. Arakanese voices and decision on natural resources management as well as foreign projects in that territory are no longer a single hand decision of central government as it used to be. 

There are a number of factors, but sloid points are Arakan Army is supported by the people and they will fight together for the innate rights. Myanmar army will not be able wipe out entire AA fighters in their native land.

As historical fact and current trend, Arakan political parties will always win and play dominant roles in electoral political process in Arakan State. Political will of Arakanese are strong and determinant. Of course, Arakan people will vote for their national parties in the election in November. This political will indicate that there is almost no hope the Burman dominant parties, National League for Democracy nor Union Solidarity and Development Party, will swift major victory in Arakan State. 

One way or another, the central government has to deal with the Arakanese people, or choose for more conflicts that will definitely lead to international solutions in ICJ or ICC or both, whereas more civilians are killed and forced to displace millions of people. 

At this moment, it is wise for both China and India to stay hands off in Arakan conflicts but work through the United Nations and regional forum instead of taking side with the military, a trap that is pulling in the neighboring giants into the domestic conflict. 
Wounded Myanmar soldiers from LID-77 in Rakhine State in 2020. 

AN. Sittway. July 26, 2020. 
He said,” The more I lie, the most my fellow soldiers will be killed. Thus, I will tell the truth to my colleagues from now on.” 
300 combination troops of Myanmar army have been attacking Arakan Army bases near Aung Thar Zay and Kyauk Tan villages since June 26, forcing 30,000 villagers out of homes and wounded a half dozen civilian, in order to reopen its supply line. But local residents and analysts say the ‘clearance operation’ is defeated and more than 100 troops were killed.

“No. No. AA is winning. In addition, AA has been encircling and blocking entire battalion of 150 Myanmar troops in Yae Soe Chaung’s Military Tactical Base (YSC-MTB) since March 2020. They are starving after AA cut off its supply line,” U Than Aung* local resident of Htee Swea village said. 

He told our news reporters as mentioning above when asked how Myanmar military is effectively conducting the operation and attacking AA bases near Aung Thar Zay and Kyauk Tan villages in recent days. 

Myanmar army issued a statement on July 16 and said it would conduct “counter terrorist operation” to reopen the road—connecting to Sing Dan village in Buthedaung township from Rathedaung.

Arakan Army has been controlling and blocking the road and military supply line to the YSC-MTB since March, shortly before Myanmar government designated AA as terrorist organization. 

“First, Myanmar army tried to retake Kyauk Tan and Aung Thar Zay villages in order to reopen the supply line to Yea Soe Chaung base. First, they attacked AA in Kyauk Tan village on June 26. But AA killed 30 Myanmar troops during the first attack. Again, they have moved to Aung Thar Zay village and attacking AA since June 28,” said a local analyst who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

He said, “The military operation in Kyauk Tan village tract is defeated at least for this raining season. They cannot reopen the road. Moreover, Myanmar army is very confused when AA attacked a couple of police stations and military convey in the west of May Yu mountain range and on Ah Ngu Maw—Maungdaw Highway, where dozens of police and military personnel were killed since May.”

AA claimed it has killed more than 100 Myanmar troops in Kyauk Tan tract since June 27. Local people have confirmed Myanmar troops are suffering a lot in the operation. 

“The soldier has to pay 500 Kyat for an egg in Yae Soe Chang village when the normal price of an egg is about 50 Kyat. They do not give any trouble to the local residents. Without these villagers, the soldiers do not get foods, a villager from Yea Soe Chaung told our news. 

He said 150 troops from the base were sent to Paletwa, Chin State, in last summer and never returned back to the base. He assumed most were killed and some were kept in military bases in Chin State. 

Until last week of May, there were less than 100 soldiers in the base. It was lucky enough three navy landing crafts were able to transport 150 more troops to the base through May Yu river. The navy dropped off the troops at Pyin Taw village on May 30. 

Our news interviewed a resident from Aug Zay Gone village when the navy were heading to north in the river while firing guns and shells into villages located near the river and injured several villagers on May 30. 

“May Yu river is the only water transportation but very limited Myanmar army can use for supply line. But it is also very dangerous route because most of the times AA commandos attack the navy,” the analyst said. 

He said, “Another small and narrow brook from Htee Swea military base to Yea Soe Chaung base is also controlled by AA. Then the road has been blocked. How can you support and supply your troops? It may be your own luck or kind hearts of AA fighters at this moment; otherwise, every single troop of Myanmar army had been slaughtered.” 

The battle in Aung Thar Zay village is one of the longest fight between AA and Myanmar army after Mi Wa in Paletwa township and Buddaw village in Ponnaygun township, where Myanmar army defended and rescued its troops for not more than 60 days with the heavy air supports.

Yea Soe Chaing MTB has been encircled and rounded up by AA fighters for more than 6 months. Myanmar army has been trying to recuse the base for more than 6 months, but it is progressing no where expect forcing more communities out of their villages and feel good for media propaganda. 

“Three days ago, about 100 soldiers tried to come out of the YSC-MTB in order to join the forces near Aung Thar Zay, but AA fighters kicked of machine guns for half an hour. Then the Myanmar soldiers ran back to their base,” said U Than Aung. 

He said Myanmar army sent 80 more reinforcement troops, rations, and ammunitions near Htee Swea military base by navy landing craft on July 25. He said these navy were coming from Sitwtay.
He said, "I have heard news that the major showdown and attack by Myanmar army on AA bases in Aung Thar Zay will be taken places on July 28 and 29. 
“Myanmar soldiers attacked AA last night at 9 pm while firing tracers. The similar attack took places two nights ago. These kinds of night attack provided a good opportunity for the AA fighters because they could kill Myanmar troops as many as they wish in close range fight,” he said. 

The analyst stresses Myanmar army has more fire power, but they have lack of reinforcement troops. 

He said artillery firepower becomes ineffective when Myanmar troops encounter with much more stronger and outnumber of AA fighters because the morale of the government troops are already-pretty down and unwilling to fight.

“Think this way, when you have 100 troops, but 30 of your soldiers are killed, but you get immediate order from your superior to attack AA again. What will you do? That is why a couple of commanders were sacked in Htee Swea military base, and some battalions were replaced with new fighters in Kyauktaw, Maungdaw, and Sittway townships because they don’t follow every order their superiors give to,” he said. 

Some family members of fallen soldiers in Minbya township on July 20, when more than 50 officers and private soldiers were killed by AA, and their supporters were very disappointed by the top generals who handled the situation in Arakan battle poorly.

Some criticized top brass, refers to Snr Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, is brainless and asked why the higher commanders sent the officers to the training school in the battle zones and during the critical condition of intensive war. 

Some of their supporters wrote on their social media they were exhausted in support writing how great Myanmar army was and how bad AA fighters were killed by Myanmar troops. They said on the ground and reality, more Myanmar troops are killed. They said their lies do not help the families of suffered soldiers for relief.

One of the friends of an officer wrote on his Facebook account, “I will not write anything about the battle in Rakhine State and no more because I lied to myself, my fallen soldiers, and their beloved families because I went to the hospital and met my friend out there. He told me 90 soldiers of LID-77 were killed in the Arakan battle front, and the figure is without wounded.”

He said,” The more I lie, the most my fellow soldiers will be killed. Thus, I will tell the truth to my colleagues from now on.” 
Arakan Army Commander General Tun Myat Naing 

AN. Sittway. July 24, 2020. 

Arakan Army along with three brotherhoods, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta’aung National Liberation Army (TNLA) issued a statement on July 21 and said they are willing to participate in peace conference and welcome the election.

Arakan Army Spokesperson Khine Thu Kha confirms the statement in which Arakan Army will take part in the peace conference and advise Myanmar authority for free and fair election. 

The statement said, “We exhort the Burmese authority to hold a free and fair elections contested by nationwide polls.” 

“Our organizations are fully willing to attend the conference under the leadership of FPNCC, its guidance, and security guarantee,” the statement said. 

“It is true the statement has clearly stated we will participate in the peace conference according to FPNCC political guideline and security guarantee on our leaderships during the conference. Our General (Tun Myat Naing) has widely explained during the Chin Cable Network Channel (CCN) interview on the upcoming election,” Khine Thu Kha said. 

CCN had interviewed General Tun Myat Naing on July 12 in wide range of issues including national election in November. 
“Previously, we said government ought to talk to us in order to have smooth election (in Rakhine State). But we decided we will have effective ceasefire for the election going through even though the government did not talk to us, in which we withdrew from our previous stand,"  General Tun Myat Naing said. 
The general said, “It is not we are so much believing in the electoral politic process, but when we look at the Myanmar political trend and if the intensive military clashes are going on constantly, the election process will be somehow hindering. In our own view, we ought to support the election in order to elect representatives by the people for those who can speak up for their constituencies. If there is no representative, it is very difficult, especially in the conflict zone, for the people who need their representation and for truly speak up for their burden and suffering.”

Myanmar military spokesperson Maj. Gen Zaw Min Tun also told the media several weeks ago the military would support the election as much as they could.

It is not clear how AA and Myanmar army will restraint itself during the election times in order of secure and free election by reducing military operations and collateral damages in Rakhine State. 

For sense of General Tun Myant Naing interview, AA may reduce its troops maneuvering in the towns and near the poll locations. It may officially declare unilateral ceasefire during the election days. 

National League for Democracy (NLD) has already announced its candidates to contest in the election in Rakhine State, but it cannot represent for several seats of central parliament in Minbya, Mrauk U, and Maybon townships. 

Arakan national parties are fully confident they will win in the election if there is free and fair election and no major threat of military clashes and attacking each other during the campaign and polling times. 

But the key question remains unclear whether central government will allow Arakan parties to form their own government. 

Analysts advise that if the Rakhine ethnic parties are allowed to form their own government and given more power to negotiate peace with Arakan Army, this election will be meaningful. 
Lyaw Lunn right and Myat Hein Htun left are sent to jail on July 23 for protesting to reopen internet in Rakhine State 
AN. Sittway. July 23, 2020. 

Sir…How is the latest condition of my article? Will it be published soon?

Kyaw Lunn wrote to the editor board of Arakan News one day before he was sent to the jail on July 23. 

His research paper on Arakanese youths interested in electoral politics or armed struggle was published by Arakan News yesterday evening. But he did not get a chance to read it because he has already had been in the jail along with his colleague Myat Hin Htun. 
“I and Ko Kyaw Lunn have to appear before Kamaryut court at 10 am. We will face the case against us for last 5 months that we skipped for a number of reasons. In the meanwhile, no perpetrator nor accountable person has yet to be brought to justice who fired the shell into the primary school in Khami Chaung village. No internet service has yet been reinstated in Rakhine State that cuts off for over one year. Both national and international journalists are not free to report news in Arakan but charge with terrorist laws. People shall march on to the end state of freedom struggle.”
Myat Hin Htun sent message to WhatsApp chatting group yesterday morning before he and his colleague went to the court. 

He knew he would not come back to the chatroom for a while but dived into the jail. 

Kyaw Lunn is graduate student and Myat Hin Htun is under graduate. Both are leaders of Arakan student union in Yangon. They were charged for unlawful gathering after they organized for the peaceful protest in February. The protesters called on government to bring perpetrator to justice how fired the shell into the primary school and to reopen internet shutdown in Rakhine State.

Police had filed against half dozens of protesters including Kyaw Lunn and Myat Hin Htun in March. 

On July 23, judge at Kamaryut court sentenced Kyaw Lunn and Myat Hin Htun in jail for one month. 

They brought backpacks along with them when they were taken to the jail by the police convey. In the bags, there are full of revolution and political defiance books that they will read inside the jail-cells.  

They had been hiding for several months because they believed they did nothing wrong. However, their professors had been giving enormous pressure. They could not submit their master thesis papers and term papers because their professors said they got litigation by government. 

Finally, they decided they would walk into the jail. 

His friend Bone Hlaing said, “Going to the jail for them does mean they are not kneeling down to no one but defining for justice.”

This  unamicable memory will be attached with these two young men for the rest of their lives. Definitely, they will be community leaders soon and then political leaders in times. These kinds of unfair treatment and one-sided oppression done on them when they spoke out for their own people will keep them for their lifetime challenges. 

They are victims of NLD government that has zero tolerance on freedom of expression. More activists are thrown into the jail then the previous pro-military government.

An Arakanese student activist who keeps his name confident says: “For peaceful protest…you get arrested. For expressing your opinion on social media…you are sued. Your freedom of expression is squeezed. Then you take up arms…you are branded as terrorists. The harder the regime press us, the most likely we are kicked into the dead-end corner. You know what reverse is.”

Restriction after restriction, blockage after blockage, arresting after arrest, jailing after jail, killing and after kill that is what the elected NLD government enforcing over the poverty deepen Rakhine people, but never accommodate for dialogue and peaceful solution. 

The insight of Kyaw Lunn article provides government leadership to restraint themselves from imposing more violence on Rakhine people. 

We are happy to present the jailed student leader article:
https://arakan.news/2020/07/arakan-youths-survey-proving-youngsters.html


Kyaw Lunn.  Yangon. July 23, 2020. 

Introduction 

A newly founded CSO platform by active young Arakanese, Amnesty Arakan Team (AAT), had conducted a 5-days survey on July 9-13, 2020. The survey title was Why Active Young Arakanese People Do Not Participate in the Party Politics in Arakan. 

It contained three main questions such as “Why do not you participate in the political parties in Arakan?; How to approach them,? and ‘What kind of politics do you hope in the future of Arakan?’

One hundred and sixty four young Araknese responded the questions. 

There are 5 Charts illustrating from residential townships, ages, and political questions.

Individual charts breaks down in percentage with color mark from Chart 1 to Chart 5. 

Responses in Age and Residential Townships

Below Chart 1 and Chart 2 are respondents’ residential townships and ages. The highest respondent of 29.9% are from Maungdaw township.  

On Chart 2, the highest and 72.2% of respondents are age between 20 and 30. 

Chart 1. Respondent’s Location Township 

Chart 2. Age of Respondents 


Detail of Responses 
The total response is 164 persons. It includes great demographic origins of diversity as of 52% comprising three Northern townships ( Sittwe 29%, Min-Bra 13%, and Mrauk-U  9%) while two southern townships amounts to 16% (Kyauk-Phyu 8% and Rambree 5%). Yagon region stands at the fifth by 7% of the entire participants. 

In terms of gender and age, male to female ratio expresses as 60% to 40% while 73% of the respondents’ ages are between 20 and 30 while the second majority (13%) is of 16 to 20 aged. In addition, the third largest one is of those 30 to 35 comprising 10 %.

Responding on Political Questionnaire  

Below three charts are contained with the details and analysis of responses. 

Chart 3 explains political question for young men and women why they are not willing to participate Arakanese political parties. There three main Arakanese national parties, Arakan Front Party (AFP), Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) and Arakan National Party (ANP).

Our question goes like “Why do not you participate in the political parties in Arakan?’

The responses are 27% of respondents said they do not want to participate in the party due to the weak communication between the parties and public. They said there are lack of belief in the party and electoral politics, composed to 21% as the second main one. 

The third biggest majority group (14%) to this question picks the selection, ‘They do not want to participate in politics’.  Only around 10% (the fourth largest) prefer ‘Due to aggressive competition between the main Rakhine political parties’ while ‘Lack of security’ and ‘High personal attack and strong dogmatism within the political parties’ both constitute 8.7 %. Materialistic options they believe it is ‘Lack of benefits and salary’ is minimum.


Chart 3. Reason given by respondents why they did not want to involve in party politics 


Detail Responses on Chart 4
Looking at the response of the question in the Chart 4, the majority respondents are not participating in the politics because of the failure of the public policy from the political parties while the second one is about the dynamicity of Arakan politics that most young people think electoral politics supplies less chance to achieve their aspirations. 

Then, the third response is about the political culture of the people that they think politics is not a good place to involve with. The results can be summarized as ‘Arakan still needs more institutionalized and influential political parties while having more chance to achieve their rights in democratic ways’.


Chart 4. Seeking advices how youngster participate in party politics 

Detail of Chart 5 with Recommendations 

The results of the second question: ‘How should we approach the active Arakanese young people to participate in the party politics?’ 

The respondents include the largest (29%) as ‘Need more training for young people’ while 28% (the second largest) says ‘Need smart leaders within the party’. Then the third majority (24%) expresses ‘Need strong party policies’ while 9% calls for ‘More chance for young female Arakanese’. 

Again, the highest group demanded more public relations from the political party, and it is also similar with the largest radical (Weak communication from the political parties) of the first question.  

The second largest one may point out the lack of prominent political leaderships within the political parties in Arakan. It may concurrent with the rise of leadership of Arakan Army and its political wing United League of Arakan (ULA/AA) in the armed political environment. 

This factor also shows the deficiency of charismatic political leaders in the electoral politics in the post-Dr. Aye Maung era and the electoral party leaders are shadowed by the boost of armed organization’s leadership like General Twan Mrat Naing and Vice-Commander Dr. Nyo Twan Awng in Arakan politics.  

Then, the third largest factor of ‘Need Strong Party Politics’ questions the institutionalization of the political party by which the newcomers are roomed and tasked within the party. 

None of the political parties in Arakan like AFP, ALD, and ANP is institutionalized enough comparatively with other non-Burma ethnic political parties like Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), and the like. 

Political parties in Arakan are even far less institutionalized than Burma proper parties like Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and National League for Democracy (NLD), etc. 

The degree of institutionalization, according to Samuel P. Huntington, is measured by four criteria called 1. Adaptability, 2.  Autonomy, 3. Complexity, and 4. Coherence. None of political parties in Arakan succeeds over such dimensions than the rest political parties mentioned above.

Chart 5. Seeking for future political outlook in Arakan State 



Future Political Outlook in Arakan 

On account of the third question, ‘How do you hope for the future of political parties in Arakan?’

 The results are really striking on the sustainability of political parties in Arakan. The largest group answers as ‘I want ULA/AA to control all aspects of Arakan politics’ in 28% while the second greatest crop (23%) demands for ‘I want Arakan political party covering all ethnic and religious groups in Arakan’. 

Besides, 21 % (the third largest) of the respondents ask for ‘I want only one Rakhine political party purely representing Rakhine speaking people’. It could be found that the greater majority prefers an armed group rather than an electoral political party in their future. It could be due to the lack of belief in electoral politics in achieving their aspiration related with the second largest (20%) responses to the first question as ‘Due to the lack of belief in party and electoral politics’. 

Looking at the results more concentratedly, armed politics is more popular in Arakan than the electoral one, and this also relates with the question of federalization by the central government and beyond the control of local political actors. 

However, responding to the second largest demand on this question, it is about the scope of political parties in Arakan whether they can represent all ethnic and religious people in this area, or simply only Rakhine speaking people. 

The second and third largest demands are comparatively close in percentage, but it is important to care more about diversity and pluralism to cover a broader population in this area. 

Despite the second largest respondents demand for the inclusion of all religious and ethnic groups within Arakan party, only 4% calls for the cooperation with Muslim people. The third largest respondents who want only Rakhine people representing parties can be hostile to the cooperation with all non-indigenous Muslim people as they call themselves Rohingya. 

Possible recommendation for the political parties in Arakan

In line with the original purpose of this survey, AAT has intended to find out reasons why most young people do not participate in the political parties in Arakan, and how to approach them, and then what kind of political parties they wish to see in the future political environment. 
In short, the political parties in Arakan need 1. more public communication especially to young people, 2. more training for the active youths, 3. more diverse representation to all ethnic and religious groups in the areas, 4. smart and charismatic leaders within the parties, 5. more constructive and less aggressive competition and finally, and 6. strong party policies for the members. 
AAT also believes these results could provide technical advice to those CSOs, NGOs and INGOs developing the political environment and youth participation in Arakan. Another important of the part of the survey could be for the government and political think tanks and scholars to think about how to do: 1. to promote more belief in the electoral and party politics for young people, and 2. to build more democratization than militarization as majority of young people show their belief more on the armed party than the electoral one. 
From the perspective of AAT, the results can be summarized on the line that those who are interested in political affairs are more pluralist in choosing the question whether they want only Rakhine speaking people parties or the one covering all ethnic and religious ones. Then, in terms of gender divergence, more female responses want more electoral politics in plural form whereas more males cry out of lacking belief in electoral politics calling for armed groups to control radically. 

Note: The writer is Kyaw Lynn, a graduate student at Yangon University with Political Science and one of the founders of the Amnesty Arakan Team AAT who has been thrown into the jail by Burmese judge since July 23 for a peaceful protest. 


Photos: Myanmar army using APOBS in the battle in Aung Thar Say village in Rathedarung township on July 20, 2020.


AN. Sittway. July 23, 2020. 

 

Arakan Army released a statement and photos of Anti-Personal Obstacle Beaching System (APOBS) and captive POW as well as weapons and ammunitions seizure on July 22. 

 

The statement said it killed 50 Myanmar troops including high ranking officers in Minbya township on July 20. It said AA fighters also killed 50 Myanmar soldiers in Aung Thar Zay battle in Rathedaung township. 

 

AA attacked 5 Myanmar military trucks on Yangon-Sittway Highway near Pha Pyo village on July 20. At least 50 soldiers were killed and 20 more troops were wounded. It captured a half dozen Myanmar troops. 

 

Local people have reported more than 50 Myanmar troops were killed and dozen soldiers captured in Aung Thar Zay battle in Rathedaung township where Myanmar army has been launching clearance operation since June 24. 

 

AA statement disclosed it killed 50 Myanmar troops in Aung Thar Zay.

Arakan Army captured 6 Myanmar soldiers in Minbya township on July 20

 

Local people reported yesterday two battalion commanders were sacked and arrested in Htee Swea military base by their superiors for breaching order of high command and inability of advancing the AA position for weeks. 

 

Two photos were shown by Arakan Army, which is APOBS and used when Myanmar army was attacking AA base in Aung Thar Zay.

 

Local people have been reporting unusual explosions and heavy smoke bombs were seen near Aung Thar Zay village since July 20. 

 

Our news agency briefly investigated APOBS technology and its origin and found out it is USA technology and first tested by US based weapon production company, The Ensign-Bickford Company. U.S. Marine Corp and U.S. Army began using the APOBS in 2000 and 2001. 

 

It is unclear who has sold the APOBS to Myanmar army. But it is clear if any international weapon company selling the APOBS to Myanmar army, it is breaching international law and arms embargo rule and regulation. 

 

International community should thoroughly investigate the origin of weapon company that sold APOBS to Myanmar army. 


Global Arakanese community should sue the weapon company for damaging and breaching International law whereas hundreds of civilians were killed and injured and over 200,000 civilian populations are forced to displace in Rakhine State.


Any intentional weapon company that sells the lethal weapons to Myanmar army, filed genocide against Rohingya people at International Court of Justice (ICJ), is accountable for the damages and breaching the law and International arms embargo. 


AA Seized large amount of weapons and equipments from Myanmar army in Minbya township on July 20.