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Military Council warns Rakhine civil organizations to refrain from funding AA, NUG and PDF

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 30 March 2023
  • | Viewer: 87

Narinjara News, March 30 , 2023

The Chief Minister of Rakhine State, U Htein Lin, has issued a warning to social and civil organizations in the region, cautioning them against funding the Arakan Army (AA), the National Unity Government (NUG) and its subordinate Peoples Defense Forces (PDF). He has also told them to avoid associating with any illegal groups.

At around noon on March 28th, approximately 30 civil organizations based in Rakhine State were called to the government office in Sittwe and were issued that warning, according to a civil society leader from Sittwe who attended the meeting but did not want to be named.

Civil organizations rely on various sources of funding including foreign income, to sustain their operations. The Chief Minister warned against using the money to support terrorist organizations and illegal associations. He emphasized the need to respect and abide by existing laws, to avoid any legal consequences in the future. Furthermore they must not provide any support to NUG and PDF, and advised against any association with terrorist organizations or illegal associations”, he told Narinjara.

An official of another social organization in Sittwe, who also requested anonymity, stated that the meeting included a directive to renew the registration of social organizations, that are currently active in Rakhine State.

“He directed us to review the registration process and complete a new registration. It is mandatory for organizations to renew their registration every five years, and our organizations registration period is still valid. He also advised us against assisting any illegal organizations or being affiliated with them. Actually, it was a form of warning.

Furthermore, he elaborated on the potential consequences of being involved with armed organizations and the punishments that could be imposed under current laws”, the official said.

There are over 600 civil and social organizations in Rakhine State.

Narinjara reached out to several civil society organizations based in Rakhine State for comment on the Military Councils warning, but they declined to provide a statement.

The coup Military Council annulled the association registration law that was passed by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) in 2014, and instead introduced a new association registration law on October 28th, 2022.

Section 38 of the new law states that civil society organizations that are registered must refrain from directly or indirectly communicating with or providing support to individuals or organizations that carry arms against the state, those designated by the state as committing terrorist acts, and illegal associations along with their members.

The Military Council has warned that officials of relevant organizations found guilty of violating any of the prohibitions outlined in the new law may face imprisonment for up to 5 years, a maximum fine of 5 million kyats, or both punishments together. Additionally the organization may be liquidated, and its assets may be confiscated.

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