Don’t let the problem go from bad to worse

Tha Sein

Violent armed attackers swarmed three border guard outposts in Rakhine State in the small hours of 9th October, killing nine policemen and injuring five, an act that is most reprehensible. The assailants also made off with arms and ammunition.
Soldiers providing security to residents were attacked by scores of armed assailants near Myothagyi Village in Maungtaw Township on 10 October. Four attackers were killed in the incident. On 11 October, soldiers conducting an area clearance campaign were attacked by about 300 armed assailants. Four soldiers were killed in the fighting.
There was a growing sense — given what has happened — that Myanmar, for good or bad, is formulating a necessary response to the latest development. It is the right thing to do to ensure that the people of Myanmar are secure, and there is now great relief writ large on the faces of local people who were concerned over their security.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, one of three foreigners on a nine-member commission, is leading a landmark effort to tackle the troubles in Rakhine State. The commission marks the first time international advisers have been invited publicly by the government to give their views on a subject so combustible in a country with a nascent democracy. The creation of the commission comes after thousands of people were trapped at sea last year amid a crackdown on the smuggling of Bengalis and others from south Asia through Thailand and Malaysia.
Myanmar maintains friendly relations with all countries since its foreign policy has embarked on diplomatic traditions that support better relations with foreign nations. But the foreign policy of some countries still gives rise to grave doubts in Myanmar’s mind. As the other country could hold many of the keys to put an end to the current conflicts erupting in the western part of Myanmar, the government is exercising considerable restraint in addressing the problems in order to not let it go from bad to worse.

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