National Security Advisor urges careful use of terms “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”

National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun delivers his address to the UN Security Council at the UN in New York City. Photo: MNA
National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun delivers his address to the UN Security Council at the UN in New York City. Photo: MNA

The National Security Advisor has urged international communities not to use the terms “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” lightly regarding the issue in northern Rakhine State.
U Thaung Tun, National Security Advisor of Myanmar, made the remark at the United Nations Security Council in New York recently, after the terms were used in statements made by the UN Secretary-General and the representatives of the member states of the council.
“There is no ethnic cleansing and genocide in Myanmar. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are serious charges and they should not be used lightly. It would be a sad commentary of our times if we allowed emotions to cloud our view and assert that what is happening in Rakhine is ethnic cleansing without first undertaking a legal review and making a judicial determination,” said the National Security Advisor.
The current situation was precipitated by the attacks of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) terrorists on 30 police outposts in the early hours of 25 August that resulted in the deaths of 12 security officers, one immigration officer, one soldier and a number of innocent civilians. Security forces were obliged to defend themselves, government officials said.
“We feel deeply for the suffering and plight of all affected communities – Rakhine, Muslim, Daingnet, Mro, Thet, Maramagyi and Hindu. They are all victims of violence and terrorism”, U Thaing Tun said.
Myanmar is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. It is home to 135 officially recognised ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive culture and adherence to a variety of religions, including Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.Religious groups have been living in harmony throughout the country’s history. “The situation that we face today is due to terrorism and is not based on religion,” said U Thaung Tun.
“It should be noted that Muslims are not a minority in northern Rakhine. They constitute 95 per cent of the total population. What is little known is that the vast majority of Muslims did not abandon their hearth and home. While there has been an exodus, more than 50 per cent of the Muslim villages in northern Rakhine remain intact,” said the National Security Advisor.—GNLM

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