Nothing must be done to derail the transition to democracy

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  • Myanmar is going through a critical period of transition. The government is dealing with social, economic, rule-of-law and judicial challenges.
    Rebuilding and reforming the rule of law and justice sector is a top priority for Myanmar. It is also vital for our efforts towards sustaining Peace and Development.
    In Rakhine, the government’s efforts to bring peace and development was on track until Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) extremist terrorists made a series of attacks in Maungtaw in August, 2017. Due to the attacks, situations on administration, the economy, transportation, and regional development affairs strayed from the right paths, displacing people to other regions. Concerning these changes, authorities have taken measures to restore the governmental machinery back to normal.
    With regard to Rakhine, we need to find a constructive way forward to find a lasting solution to the issue of Rakhine.
    Despite many daunting challenges facing Myanmar, the international community has focused most on the situation in Rakhine State, as the media incessantly portrays it as a religious issue.
    In fact, the Rakhine issue is not a religious one but a political and economic challenge involving migration, competition over limited resources, poverty and rule of law. But it has recently evolved from a communal conflict into issues of national security and terrorism.
    There have been allegations of “atrocities”, “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”.
    We take the allegations of human rights violations seriously.
    Little is known on reports in the international media about the many people of Daing Net, Mro, the Mramagyi and Rakhine minority groups and Hindus who have had to flee their homes as a result of violence. They are all victims of violence and terrorism. Security needs to be ensured for all.
    Today, we are facing terrorism, funded and inspired from abroad. This is a dangerous trend for all of us.
    Instigations, threats and false hopes given by ARSA also play a role in the mass displacement of people. Terrorist attacks triggered a humanitarian crisis, but many conveniently failed to denounce the provocative attacks.
    The Myanmar government is giving priority for repatriation of the displaced people. Humanitarian aid has been provided to all affected communities.
    Meanwhile, the international community has expressed concerns for the safety and security of the returnees from Bangladesh.
    Myanmar is ready to continue to work with the international community to counter terrorism and to improve the lives of those affected by the terrorists.
    We earnestly hope that the international community will pursue a more objective and balanced approach to help overcome the challenges in Rakhine.
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