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Rakhine people fear ethnic conflicts and subsequent arrests

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 15 February 2024
  • | Viewer: 1.6k

As the military junta spreads false information to increase  ethnic tensions in major cities like Yangon and Mandalay, the Rakhine people living in the mainland remain  anxious about the impending ethnic
conflicts and arrests.

Various pro junta’s media space are full of disinformation where the junta people are posting old photographs of the 2017 cyclone Nargis victims as being fresh ones. With more to it, a number of leaflets instigating ethnic hatred were distributed in certain locations of Mandalay on 12 February. Some Rakhine restaurants and specific locations in Yangon also witnessed such papers on 13 February.

A Rakhine youth from Hlaing Thar Yar also expressed deep concern that many people were  arrested in Shwe Pyi Thar, Hlaing Thar Yar, South Dagon and Thingangyun townships in Yangon recently.

"We keep hearing such reports that Rakhine people are being arrested by the junta forces in different locations in Yangon. Many are talking about it and hence I am very much worried. Many Rakhine people are now planning to return their original places out of fear,” he added.

A Rakhine woman selling mont di (Rakhine traditional fish soup with rice noodle) in Okkalapa township in Yangon expressed her concerns saying that they are worried about the military service laws.

“We  heard many people were arrested. As the junta forces are facing defeat in Rakhine State, they are taking this step as a revenge. If they are targeting Rakhine people, I cannot support them. I may also
be arrested. The Bamar people may not have a clear understanding about the situation. So they may believe in the rumours," she added.

Narinjara News continues investigating the matter and can not authenticate immediately that Rakhine people are being arrested  in Yangon.

The Bamar community has already stated that the military junta were instigating ethnic tensions between the two communities. But that is not endorsed by the  Bamar people in general.

"The primary message, I wish to convey to the Rakhine people and all other ethnic groups, including our Bamar community, is that the military junta does not represent us, the Bamar people. We, the Bamar, stand in opposition to this oppressive regime. We have learnt from the junta's history of discrimination and propaganda, and now we stand united in this revolution. The actions of the military junta do not reflect the sentiments of the Bamar community. They are a separate entity. We want to clarify that their actions do not reflect the views of Bamar people," said Dr Kyi Soe Tun, the people's administration officer of Saw township.

Moreover, in response to the declarations made by the military junta and their supporters saying -I will not eat Rakhine mont di anymore, many ethnic groups, including Bamar supporters of the revolution,
asserted that they continue enjoying Rakhine mont di and other Rakhine dishes.

On 8 February, three military vessels belonging to the junta sank following the Arakan Army (AA) offensive on Kaladan river in Kyauktaw township.

The military junta spread false information that 700 people, who were on the military vessels, died as Rakhine villagers attacked them with knives as the passengers arrived on the bank.

The AA in a statement issued on 11 February said that many individuals, who swam to safety after the sinking of three military vessels in Kaladan river were rescued by AA members, where one Arakanese fighter lost his life during the rescue operation.

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