From transparency to truth

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International media has quite a different portrayal of the situation in Rakhine. This is not the only example where local and foreign media differ but it’s one of the most prominent and one-sided. Myanmar tries to portray the news of both sides of the condition yet most foreign media only scope in on the stories of IDPs and Muslims living in Rakhine, leaving a good chunk of the entire story out. These portrayals weigh down Myanmar in dealing honestly with the international community.
Much of Rakhine has been declared unsafe for travel but the government has allowed foreign delegates, officials from UN, local and foreign media agencies to travel to Buthidaung, Maungtaw and other border areas in Rakhine to meet and talk with locals. Due to safety concerns travel is limited to certain areas only.
Recently, a group of ambassadors and UN officials were escorted into Maungtaw District for a firsthand inspection to garner authentic news of the situation there.
We have shown the international guests that Myanmar is prepared for the repatriation process. Taung Pyo Letwe Reception Centre will receive returnees coming in by land and Nga Khu Ya Reception Centre will receive returnees coming in by sea or river. Along with the repatriation offices, temporary shelters have been built for returnees while they wait for the process to finish.
Hla Pho Khaung Transit Centre established on more than 120 acres with 640 buildings and can accommodate more than 30,000 people. The camp is ready to provide accommodation, food, drinking water, electricity and health care to returnees. Under the arrangement of the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine State-UEHRD, more than 500 tents are in reserve ready to be distributed to returnees whenever necessary.
However, no returnees have attempted to return into Myanmar from the border. Whether this is because the returnees and the other country’s government are not ready or if there is another unknown reason is unclear. Regardless, Myanmar will always have its door open for and does not discriminate people based on their religion or the color of their skin.
Now that diplomats, UN officials and both local and foreign media have been allowed to enter Rakhine and see the situation with their own eyes maybe the truth will reach the international community.
Hence, international communities are to cooperate with the authorities as Myanmar is ready to launch the repatriation and resettlement for returnees in accordance with the agreement with Bangladesh.

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