During the general debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly held on 20 September 2017 in New York, U Henry Van Thio, Vice-President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar gave an address, in which he gave priority to the affairs in the Rakhine State as many countries were quite eager to know what the Myanmar government had to say about this matter.
In regard to the Rakhine State Affair, the State Counsellor herself clarified on 19th September in her nationwide broadcast on radio and TV for the benefit of the Diplomatic Corps, all Myanmar citizens as well as the global audience. Now, the Vice-President has taken great pains to apprise the United Nations General Assembly what has actually happened at the ground level and the Myanmar government’s efforts to bring back stability in the region. At the same time he took this opportunity to explain in detail the position of the government regarding this matter.
The Rakhine State Affair was really attributed to the aggressive and violent attacks of ARSA extremist terrorists on border police outposts, ethnic Rakhine nationals, Hindus and Mro ethnic nationals, among others. The attacks were systematically timed to coincide with the oncoming UNGA, and just a few hours after issuing the final report of the advisory commission on Rakhine State led by Mr. Kofi Annan. Due to the terrorist attacks, security forces, governmental personnel, local minorities and Hindu residents suffered a lot and most were displaced. Here, we would like to claim that it was unfair of the international community to be inordinately worried and concerned about the exodus of Muslims to the neighboring country, without even noticing or having any concern whatsoever for the plight and suffering of others who died as a result of the violent attacks and inhumane slaughter of innocent civilians. Their silence and indifference in this matter speaks volumes about their inner feelings, as those who died at the hands of the ARSA terrorists were also human beings just like the people who fled to Bangladesh.
The State Counsellor on the other hand has expressed to the international community that the deep sorrow of the Myanmar Government for the sufferings of all members of the communities which suffered from the tragic events. She also assured that all violators of human rights would be punished in accordance with the law.
The Vice-President also stated clearly at the UN General Assembly that the government would provide humanitarian assistance without any discrimination based on race or religion. He also added that Myanmar stood with all countries of the world in denouncing terrorism.
Accordingly, the UN and its agencies, and all countries of the world should assess the Rakhine State Affair objectively leaving aside any pre-conceived ideas they might have. They would do well to listen carefully to both sides of the story instead of just focusing their attention on the barrage of hate speech and propaganda based on race and religion being disseminated daily by certain countries and organizations. Most of the time, a well-oiled and well-funded propaganda machine can successfully drown out the voice of truth, reason and logic quite easily.