Saturday, February 24th 2024

An interview with Khaing Thurein, Secretary of the ALP splinter group about the current situation.



“The ALP is a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). As an organization that is a signatory to the NCA, we have the rights to talk with all official government organizations. We can hold talks.” Khaing Thurein – Secretary of ALP

 

An interview with Khaing Thurein, Secretary of the ALP splinter group about the current situation.

 

There is widespread news that the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) splinter group led by Daw Saw Mra Raza Lin, who has good relations with the military council, is discussing with the military council to transform into the Border Guard Forces (BGF) under the military council. Along with this news, some of the top leaders of the ALP splinter group have been shot dead this year.

 

On 1 July, Vice-Chair of the ALP Khaing Ni Yaung, battalion commander Khaing Kyaw Min from No.101 Battalion under the Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) and comrade Kyaw Kyaw Naing, were shot dead in Sittwe. The news has emerged of the ALP’s arrets, torture and extortion of locals in cooperation with the military council with the base in Setyonesu ward in Sittwe. In addition, there is widespread news that the ALP is planning to build a party office on a land plot granted by the military council near Bumay village in Sittwe.

 

The Narinjara interviewed Khaing Thurein, Secretary of the ALP led by Daw Saw Mra Raza Lin on 6 July.

 

Q: First, the news has emerged that the ALP is in talks with the military council to transform it into a Border Guard Force (BGF). What do you want to respond to?

A: I have never had such a case. We have yet to discuss it with the military council.

 

Q: Three people including the party’s Vice-Chair Khaing Ni Yaung were shot dead in Sittwe recently. How is the party working on it?

A: We are cooperating with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the battalion to arrest the culprits.

 

Q: How many suspects are being arrested and interrogated?

A: I can’t say it. What I can tell you is that we are working on this. That’s all I can tell you.

 

Q: Family members of some people being detained by the ALP in connection with this alleged assassination, are worried about the torture of detainees. What would you like to tell the families about this?

A: If they are innocent, they will be released. The Home Affairs Ministry and the military will continue to do it if they have committed the crime.

 

Q: At the same time, the ALP has accused the Arakan Army (AA) of committing that shooting? Why does the ALP accuse the AA of shooting and killing three top leaders, on 4 January?

A: We have evidence. As for what they did, there are things that cannot be told. We will tell you what should be told to the media. Why do you exactly say that this is the perpetration of the AA?

 

Q: Do you have any plan to hold talks with the AA about it?

A: At the moment, we have no plan to discuss.

 

Q: What would you like to say about this?

A: What’s the point of fighting among Arakan people like this? Arakan people themselves will have to think about it. We have taken up arms for the betterment and development of our Arakan State. We have been engaging in the revolution. There should be no killings among Arakan people. To be clear, it is embarrassing. Such cases occur in the history of the revolution. I want to say this. They have many perceptive high-ranking officials. They need to consider whether what they are doing is right or wrong. I have no reason to criticize this.

 

Q: On the other hand, the people have accused the ALP led by Daw Saw Mra Raza Lin of arresting, torturing and extorting locals in cooperation with the military, headquartered in Setyonesu ward in Sittwe. What do you want to say about that?

A: There are no such cases. The reason why they are saying so is they themselves can’t solve it after committing the offense. There are accusations of defamation when their offense comes to the surface. Because our ALP is not cooperating with the military. The ALP is a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). As an organization that is a NCA signatory, we have the rights to speak with all official government organizations. So, we liaise with the military. I want to review that the alleged accusation of torture in cooperation with the military is an improper word.

 

Q: There is news that the ALP plans to build a new party office near Bumay Muslim village near Sittwe. What do you want to say about that?

A: We are doing what we should do. Some groups on the ground may be doing it as they have something to do.

 

Q: Do you want to say that the new party office will be built in Bumay?

A: I can’t say anything about these at this time. I don’t know where the news emerges. Therefore, some issues that we do not need to resolve will not be resolved. That’s all I want to say.

 

Q: There is some criticism that the ALP’s uniform is similar to the military uniform. What do you want to respond to that criticism?

A: It’s not similar to the military uniform. In the revolution, the people wear their respective uniforms. To be clear, the uniform is a long-time problem. Our members are wearing our uniforms. I would like to say that the people are accusing us based on their views. This uniform problem has arisen since before the assassination of Major General Saw Mra. We are wearing the former uniform.

 

Q: How are you going to build the ALP in the future as there is a lot of criticism on the ALP and a split within the group?

A: The ALP will not turn back on the direction we are taking due to assassinations and blows. Everything is going as usual.

 

Q: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say?

A: What I want to tell the Arakan people is that Arakan State has been severely affected by cyclone Mocha. To put it bluntly, Arakan State is one of the least developed areas of Myanmar. Instead of disunity, quarrel and disagreement among Arakan people, we need to coordinate and discuss disagreements among us. What can we do? The people can tell us openly and make demands. It is a suitable time for Arakan people to join hands and go on a journey. This is not the time when one side fights with the other. That’s all I want to say.

 

Yes. Thank you very much for taking the time.

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