(Opinion) No Doubt Presidential Enquiry Committee Will Report AA Guilty of Shooting UN-WHO Vehicle in Rakhine, Myanmar

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President U Win Myaint, file photo from Google search 
Sittway. April 30, 2020.
President U Win Myint issued a statement on April 28 and said an investigation committee was formed and authorized to investigate the shooting of WHO vehicle and the death of its employee and injury of health worker in Rakhine State. 

President picked up a NLD parliamentary member as head of the committee, a former UN employee, director of health and sport ministry, and a military colonel.

The committee mandate is to investigate the incident and report back to the president.

Arakan Army rejects the investigation committee and its statement says the body is partial, and lack of creditable experts and broader participation. AA points out the committee is only to cover up the incident and true facts, destroying evidences, buying times, and scapegoating other organization for the crime. 

Indeed, the presidential investigation committee is formed internally after UN, US, INGOs, and international community called for an independent investigation on the killing of Paye Sone Win Maung and injury of Aung Myo Oo on April 20. 

Analysists and commentators have already reacted the news of formation of the investigation body and criticized the credibility of the commission and say it is  a white wash. They compare this committee as the same as many enquiry commissions the government formed. And they go on and say this commission is no doubt they will report AA was shooting the vehicle because the government and Tatmadaw have already announced and issued statements and wrote news on the state’s press and broadcasted on their TVs .  

As outgoing UN’s human rights Special Rapporteur Miss Yanghee Lee highlighted on her statement on April 29 and said ‘accountability was critical to ending the conflict’. Finding the truth is the key for this case. It can bring accountable perpetrators to justice. 

In order to find the truth, impartial and credible thirty party investigation is essential needed. 

The previous records of government show obvious doubt. First, the government ordered Tatmadaw to crash AA. Second, it allowed to use jet fighters and helicopters. Third, government arrested and prosecuted relatives of AA leaders. Forth, it classified the rebel force unlawful and terrorist organization. Fifth, government leader phrased the soldiers fighting in Rakhine and Chin as brave and good men. Lastly, it accused AA shooting the WHO vehicle. 

“It is more like a fox is given a top job to guard the chicken,” said an Arakanese politician who remains in anonymous. He mumbles, “In this committee, there is none of the Rakhine lawmakers appointed from the constituent where the shooting took place. They (government) can do whatever they wish because they have power.” 

As AA statement pointed out the credibility of the committee members, Col. Htin Lin, former minister of borer and security ministry and served in Rakhine State for 8 years, is questionable. Local people believed he was involved in certain extent of shooting and killing the peaceful protesters in Mrauk U in 2018. He is also very infamous among the local residents he might be linked with the killing and driving out the Rohingya in 2017. 

The Colonel is recently appointed as advisor to President Win Myint without proper background check.

For delivering justice to late Pyae Sone Win Maung, AA offers to cooperate with an independent and credible investigation body if there is one, aside from the presidential enquiry committee. 

Unless the truth comes, people are asking question where is the truth? Why the state is sponsoring state terrorism and protecting the murders? Is justice for only the people in military uniforms? There are no ending questions for seeking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

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