3.1 Million Rakhine People Are Locked Down in War Wrecked and The Poorest State in Myanmar Amid The Fastest Transmission of Covid-19; Local People Suspect The Overly Reaction and Harsh Restriction Has Political Agenda

Ma Bu May, 26, is injured and later died by RPG shell fired from Myanmar army based in Ah Puck Wa village in Kyauktaw township on August 27. 

AN. Sittway. August 28, 2020 


Ministry of Health and Sports has enforced every township in Rakhine State, total of 15 townships, lockdown since August 27, leaving 3.1 million residents in fear and economic hardships due to the lack of government assistances and shortage of basic personal protection accessories. 


The ministry announced yesterday all residents to stay at home; allow one person from a household to go out for shopping; only 2 persons can team up while going to hospitals; and everyone is required to have a document from ward and village authorities when he/she has to go to other villages and towns for only emergency and necessary reasons. No person nor vehicle is allowed to cross border between villages and townships except government employees, including military and police. 


In addition, Rakhine people are barred to go out of township to township and state to state. If they go out to cities and divisions in proper Myanmar, they have to quarantine for 21 days in government designated locations. That restriction only applies to Rakhine ethnic people. 

COVID-19 Outbreaks Has Political and Military Aims 

The government announced it has tested 189 positives with Covid-19 in several townships in Rakhine State since August 16. Local people assume the fastest outbreak of coronavirus in Rakhine State has political and military aims. 


Local analyst, who does not want to print on press his name for security reason, said the panic of public in fearsome for the fastest and largest infection of virus in war torn, conflict wrecked, and the poorest state is not genuine. 


“These massive lockups over the millions of people are not really necessary, but it has political and military aims,” the analyst said. 

He said, “It is a tactic of cutting fish from water; then make the water dry; thus, that catch the fish easily or let it die.”

“The first aim is to thwart the election in Rakhine; the second one is to cut off AA fighters connecting with the people. This so-called Covid-19 outbreak is used by the military to kill two birds with a stone and at once,” he said.  


He said some military and political planers thought when people were starved and weak, AA would be weak. When AA was weak, the military would crack it down.


In order to make effective operations, the analyst said the entire population are lockdown by an excuse of the virus outbreak and then tackle down individuals and villages whether AA members are living in and have connection with as finding out effort whether the fishes are in the water or not. Then make the people starve. As a result, AA will get little rations, intelligent information, and isolated.


In fact, AA and Myanmar army have been fighting for almost two years, but the government army has not yet made any tangible progress in order of driving out AA from the Rakhine territory, but it is getting larger and powerful. 


Therefore, the military strategists in Naypaytaw may be using the virus opportunity to make AA weakening as Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu once said war is always deception. 


Unfair Freedom of Election Campaigns 

He said the military is always trying Rakhine State under its jurisdiction and military rule after 2017 Rohingya crisis and AA attacks on the police outposts in 2019. In this way and if successful, the military believes it has a strong hold of power in the region that can control elected government in Naypaytaw for both business and political advantage from Rakhine State. 


The military could do it if there was no election in Rakhine because the constitution gives that power to the military. 


“First, the military tried not to proceed election in Rakhine state by giving security reason that AA would attack on election days. After the government announced it would hold the election, the military would come up with an excuse of the virus outbreak,” the analyst said.


He said the virus outbreak will be lingering for several more months. 


Similarly, National League for Democracy (NLD) has the same political aim to change opinion of Rakhine voters by using the fearsome virus outbreak. The leader may wish Rakhine people to vote for NLD candidates. 

“Aung San Suu Kyi gets more popular in proper Myanmar after she is communicating with the people via social media while preventing the virus transmission. She enjoys that kind of popular supports and may wish it might work in Rakhine State if her government could assist the people during the peak of virus infection as a savior. Thus, Rakhine people might thank her as military thanked to her for defending it for the genocide charges at the ICJ in the Hague,” he said. 

Some parliament members from Rakhine State are stuck in Naypaytaw and Yangon when they are going to attend the parliamentary meeting. Some are in 21 days quarantine in Yangon. They cannot come back to Rakhine. 


Some new candidates are stuck up in Sittway and unable to go back to their home towns. 


But NLD candidates enjoy free campaign trials in proper Myanmar and they can go out and in freely in every village and town.

Myanmar Army Shot and Killed 2 Civilians and Wounded 3 More Women 

Myanmar army shot and killed two civilians and wounded three more women in northern Rakhine State yesterday. The military said one of the suspects was shot and dead when the military patrol unit encountered two men in Kyauktaw town at night.


The family denied and said the military shot and killed their love one after the military dragged him out of the resident when he went to the toilet. His body was left wrapped with the plastic cover near his aunt’s resident. The body was handed over to the hospital by the police in the morning. 


Myanmar soldiers based in the village shot and killed a 26 years old woman and wounded 3 more women when they were coming back from the farm yesterday in Kyatutaw township.


Within one week period of coronavirus outbreak, Myanmar military has killed three civilians and wounded 10 more villagers.


Local people reporting more troops and military supplies are brought to Rakhine State while entire townships are lockdown. 

Transparency and Direct Communicating with the People on the Ground 

All these unusual and doubtful restrictions and increase of military movements in terms of lack of transparency and sustaining internet blackout during the highest threat of virus, local people living in fear and uncertainty have every aspect of thought and suspicious over the government and military. 


One of the best ways to ease the doubt of the people is to resume the internet services in Rakhine and Chin States so that Aung San Suu Kyi can talk the local people directly by her own Facebook  account. 


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