Press conference held in Presidential Palace

State Counsellor’s Office Director General U Zaw Htay holds the press conference in President House, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor’s Office Director General U Zaw Htay holds the press conference in President House, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

Ministry of State Counsellor’s Office Director General U Zaw Htay held a press conference in Presidential Palace, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon and briefed on the political, economic, social and peace situation in the country.
At the press conference Director General U Zaw Htay spoke about President Office Order No. 45/2019 dated 14 November on Anti-Money Laundering Law, President sending a message to Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on merging two ministries and the matter being explained at the Hluttaw by an official from the relevant ministry.
Afterwards, news media personnel raised questions including resolving the difficulties encountered in obtaining news at courts, possibility of concluding civil cases speedily, possibility of resolving difficulties faced and reducing the time required to renew passports at Myanmar Embassy in Thailand, matters relating to anti-money laundering order, current situation of Myanmar’s diplomatic relationship, status of efforts made toward apprehending major drug dealers, matter of reward provided to informers on drug, cases made by ICJ (International Criminal Justice) and ICC (International Criminal Court), status of tax collection from mobile phone bill payment, whether there was a plan for the government to meet with the northern alliance, current situation in Rakhine State, whether the country has a policy to reduce internally displaced person (IDP) camps, the number of IDP camps, matter of personnel from IDP camps on the border of Myanmar-Thai border returning back, measures taken to free Hluttaw representative U Hwei Tin and plan to take action against companies that owes gold to the country.
Responding to the questions, Director General U Zaw Htay said spoke persons were appointed in courts from whom the media can obtain news. The matter of delays in trying civil cases was discussed when the President met with Union Chief Justice and Union Supreme Court Judges. Instructions were issued to increase the organization setup and employ more court personnel in courts while the Union Chief Justice Office will be informed about facilitating news media to obtain court news.
On the Rakhine State affairs, the Director General said the government was not blindly rejecting international accusations. Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) that was free and independent was formed with reputable and trustworthy international personnel and ICOE is still conducting inquiries. On the other hand, Tatmadaw has also formed an Inquiry Board and is conducting investigations.
ICOE’s Final Report had yet to be published. ICOE is a free and independent organization. It was formed by the government. The main point was the fact that international accusations were made. ICOE was handling this matter. Based on the findings of ICOE, appropriate actions will be taken according to the law.
Once detailed findings were made, as mentioned in the past, there’ll be no leniency toward human rights violations. inquiries were made toward this with full political will and if there any violations, appropriate action will be taken. The government can be accused of a lack of accountability if no action was taken when the report was out. As the process was still underway, international pressures are more of a nuisance and disturbance.
The outcome results of these pressures are adversely affecting the country’s image which causes effects on Myanmar and its citizens, investment, travel, trade cooperation etc. Myanmar government was truly conducting the investigations and inquiries, had the capability to do it and took full responsibility for it. This was been explained to the international audience. At the moment, there was no cooperation from Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s lack of cooperation as well as criticizing Myanmar’s cooperative works seems to be prolonging the issue. Myanmar was doing the necessary things as well as conducting investigations and will continue to do so.
Of those who left to Cox’s Bazar, a total of 415, 239 males and 176 females had returned on their own volition. They didn’t return under the arrangement of Bangladesh but were repatriated to reception and transit centres by the UEHRD program. There were many who want to return from Cox’s Bazar. Especially there were 444 Hindus who had proposed to return. To smooth the repatriation process proposal was made to start the repatriation with these 444 Hindus. Myanmar and Bangladesh had made two attempts for repatriation.
Based on past experience, repatriation matter can be resolved through bilateral cooperation. Groups were formed to implement the agreements. But there was no cooperation in repatriation. Instead, there were behind the back demands to take action against Myanmar or sanction Myanmar. Such acts shouldn’t be taken as Myanmar and Bangladesh had lived together peacefully side by side. Even though there were bilateral
ministerial-level meetings, there were many behind the back statements incorrectly made to the media. Myanmar now hold a trilateral meeting to include China as witness. Discussions were made at UN General Assembly with UN Secretary General and representative of China as a witnesses where pledges and promises were made on the process and time table of repatriation. Our side did the necessary preparation but there were widespread killings and illicit drug activities in Cox’s Bazar IDP camps. Demonstrations were held whenever repatriation was planned. Those who want to return dare not propose to do so and a total of 415 had returned without announcing about it.
The point was for Bangladesh to be a good neighbor. If Bangladesh does not cooperate in the repatriation work, the humanitarian crisis will grow. If that occurs, it would be the sole responsibility of Bangladesh. Our side was ready and prepared for the repatriation process. Bangladesh especially needs to abide by and cooperate according to the bilateral agreement. Without this cooperation, the problem will become more complicated. This needs to be understood, said U Zaw Htay.
The government was arranging to meet with the four ethnic armed oragnizations from the northern alliance. The four EAOs need to have a true desire for peace and to walk down the path to peace. Arrangements were made to agree on a preliminary ceasefire. This was discussed at the Kengtung meeting. If the preliminary ceasefire agreement was achieved, the next steps will be taken.
RCSS Chairman and the government side are coordinating. Soon a group led by RCSS Chairman will meet with a government representative group led by Dr Tin Myo Win in Thailand. Lt-Gen YarPyae and Lt-Gen Min Naung from Tatmadaw will also participate in that meeting. The two are NRPC members. RCSS is to discuss with the government representative group. Tatmadaw also plans to hold a separate meeting. Furthermore, there will be a meeting to start the peace process. The government has an IDP strategy. Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and experts will soon conduct a National Strategy. Afterwards, State/Region-wise Action Plans will be drawn up. At the moment, KHCC led by KBC Chairman and Deputy Minister U Soe Aung has formed a Working Team. A Pilot Project will be conducted. An IDP Camp in Government Control Area will be chosen to conduct the pilot project. The expectation is to resettle the displaced persons to their places of origin, where they can resume their former livelihoods, said Director-General U Zaw Htay. He also provided detailed explanations on other questions raised. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)

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