Tatmadaw MPs at odds over Rakhine security proposal


NAY PYI TAW — Two members of the Tatmadaw have offered opposing viewpoints during discussion of a proposal on security and stability in northern Rakhine State in the Pyithu Hluttaw on August 24.

Minister for Home Affairs Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe urged lawmakers to simply put the proposal on record, which would not require the government to put it into action.

He said the Union and Rakhine State governments had “set up necessary committees to handle the situation”. The Tatmadaw, police force, government departments, civil society groups and local residents are collectively working for security, peace, stability, rule of law and development, he added.

But lawmaker Lieutenant Colonel Zaw Htun Oo said that if the parliament failed to approve the proposal it “would be held accountable for the consequences”.

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“The local ethnic minority groups and all citizens of the country will not be satisfied with the hluttaw’s actions,” he said.

This comment drew rebuke from Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint, who said it amounted to pressuring lawmakers to vote a certain way and thus infringed their right to vote freely. He declared that it was not in accordance with the Pyithu Hluttaw Law and Zaw Htun Oo agreed to withdraw it.

Lawmakers accepted Kyaw Swe’s proposal to record the motion, which was submitted by Daw Khin Saw Wai (Arakan National Party, Rathedaung).

The proposal urged the government to devise a plan for better security and administration in northern Rakhine State because “Bengali extremist organisations” are committing crimes that adversely affect the rule of law, security and territorial integrity in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships.

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