Coronavirus Does Not Kill Us But The Myanmar Army Really Killing Us; We Are Afraid Of Not The Virus But The Bullets—Say Local People in Rakhine State of Myanma

Arches are seen after 175 houses were burned down by Myanmar army in Pha Yar Poung village in Kyauktaw township on September 3.
AN. Sittway. September 6, 2020

Violence Increasing During the Covid-19 Outbreak in Rakhine State 

Myanmar army burned down 175 houses in Pha Yar Poung  and Kyauk Gu villages in Kyauktaw township at the night on September 3.

 

The soldiers also killed two residents in the village, Win Nyunt, 27, and Maung Han Thein, 35. 

 

Local based human rights documentation institute—Arakan Information Center (AIC) reports 6 civilians have been killed and 15 villagers injured by the Myanmar army’s gunshots and artilleries since the Covid-19 outbreak was reported on August 16. 

 

Local based DMG news reported over tens of thousands of  villagers have been fleeing from 9 villages and sought shelters in some IDP camps since August 31. 

 

The news reports as bellow:

No.

Name of the village

Number of villagers fleeing

1.

Ah Lay Gyun

2,000

2.

Shwe Pyay

2,500

3.

Shwe Pyay Thit

3,400

4.

Thar Si

2,000

5.

Pha Yar Poung

3,500

6.

Taung Puck

3,500

7.

Ponna

1,000

8.

Ah Kha Zar

50

9.

La Mu Tabin

1,000

 

TOTAL

18,950

 

Blame Game

Myanmar military spokesperson Gen. Zaw Min Tun denied the report of killing the civilians and arson, but he accused Arakan Army burned down the village, and the two villagers killed in Pha Yar Poung village were members of AA. 

 

Local critics point out the finger pointing to AA is an end of justice by the military itself. But the victims and the suffering people get justice nowhere in domestic justice system; they are also disappointed inaction of international community and fails to protect the vulnerable people.  

 

They say Rakhine people are dying every day by Myanmar army’s bullets and shells than the Covid-19 transmission. They also say starvation is imminent threats for those 3.1 million people who are under semi house arrests, night curfew, and travel restrictions since August 22. 

 

Arakan Army commander Gen. Tun Myant Naing said the fastest virus spreading in Rakhine State has political and military agendas. He said Myanmar army has taken advantage on the virus outbreak and bringing more troops to Rakhine State. 

 

Myanmar government spokesperson Zaw Htay was furious over the AA commander remarks and said AA leader is bluffing and propagandizing the deathly threat of virus.

 

He said AA leader is twisting between the word and deed. He said AA declared unilateral ceasefire but attacking by remote mines over the Myanmar troops and supply convoys. 

 

He said if AA really wants peace they can talk unilateral at anytime and in anywhere, or in even a third country that the government has already proposed, but AA did not reply.

 

AA Spokesperson Khine Thus Kha urged both Myanmar government and the military to show credible proofs as halting offensive operations, nullifying AA as terrorist organization, and stopping unjustly killing the Rakhine populations in order to build trust between the two conflicting parties. 

 

Military Clashes

Villagers also reported artillery were firing from the military based in Rathedaung, Htee Sway, Ra Soe Chaung villages to AA base location. They told at least several hundred rounds of artilleries were fired entire night and the whole day yesterday. They said the bombs dropped from the helicopters were extremely loud.

 

Local people reported at least 27 Myanmar soldiers were killed in the clash between AA and Myanmar army near Pyin Taung, a hill side near Aung Thar Si village in Rathedaung township between September 3 and 5. 

 

Myanmar army and AA were fighting near Ra Maung Bridge in Minbya township on September 3. 

 

Government Responses

Ministry of Health and Sports announces 502 Rakhine people have been infected with Covid-19 in 16 townships since August 16. 

 

Rakhine State government responded the outbreak with imposing curfew laws in 15 townships for three months, staring from September 2 to November 1. 

 

Local people dismayed the curfew law and said it is nothing to do with the virus and the night curfew but to contain the Rakhine people when the military is shooting and shelling civilians and burning houses in Rakhine State. 

 

State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said the restriction is necessary to contain the virus in one location but not singling out and discriminating against Rakhine people. 

 

But local people complain why she does not reinstate internet services during the lockdown and stay-at-home times. 

 

Myanmar Navy Shelling and Injuring Villagers

Myanmar navy fired machine guns and artillery shells into Gup Pi Htung and Than Kanet villages in Kyauktaw township at mid night and injured 6 civilians on September 2. 

 

Three Rohingya villagers, Ma Ah Bu Che, 8, Daw Mara Kan, 38, and U Rara Mud, 48, were injured by the shells landing in Gup Pi Htaung village. 

 

U Soe Thar Aung, 67, and U Maung Pru, 63 and his wife Daw Sein Kyew Thein, were critically wounded by the Myanmar navy shells landing inside their resident. They were taken to Kyauktaw hospital. 

 

Town residents also reported the navy shelled to a quarantine center in Kyauktaw, and the coronavirus infected patients and watch-out patients from the center had to flee on September 2. 

 

The authority who was helping the quarantine center said he and his colleagues were recollecting the ran-way Covid-19 patients. Local people worry the virus must be spreading from the fleeing patients in the community.

1 comment:

  1. It time for the real ralhine people to express their decision.All true rakhine people,we
    must unite and declare the goal of our forefathera and each of us to hold a pan and a piece of paper so that we can end the war.

    ReplyDelete