Misunderstanding of Rakhine conflict adds to woes: Thein Sein

Yangon (Eleven Media/ANN) - Myanmar President Thein Sein said the misinterpretation of the conflict in Rakhine state as religious violence between the Rakhine people and Muslims have made it more difficult to resolve the country's existing problems.

President Thein Sein made the comment in his televised speech yesterday evening. The speech focused on the activities the government plans to carry out from the recommendations that included in the Rakhine report, which was released by the investigation commission on April 29.

Thein Sein said he is convinced that despite challenges and difficulties, Myanmar will be able to create an open society where each and every citizen can enjoy equal opportunities to pursue their dreams.

"However bright the future prospects may be, irrational and extremist acts of some of our citizens can disrupt the reform processes the government is undergoing. We individuals are obliged to avoid such acts," he said.

The Rakhine Conflict Investigation Commission was formed in 2012 to uncover the root causes of communal violence in Rakhine state.

Thein Sein described the report as comprehensive, pragmatic and forward-looking.

The president said his administration was determined to resolve the ongoing problems in Rakhine state in a systematic and pragmatic manner, taking all necessary measures to create a harmonious society where all the communities can coexist peacefully.

Without capability to institute proper democratic practices and establish an open society in the past, Myanmar has witnessed armed conflicts, hardships, distrust between the ethnic groups and economic backwardness. The government therefore is conducting democratic reforms to remedy these problems, the president said.

"In this democratisation process, we must ensure all the citizens enjoy freedom of religion and freedom of speech. In this regard, there must be tolerance and mutual respect among the communities of different faiths. Only then will it be possible for us to coexist peacefully. The government will protect the right of all the citizens to worship any religion freely," Thein Sein said.

In his speech, Thein Sein also pointed out that the abuse of free speech has provoked hatred, worsening the conflict between the different religious communities.

The misinterpretation of the conflict in Rakhine State as religious violence between two different communities has made it more difficult to resolve the problems.

Another major problem was a failure to pay enough attention to the real causes of the conflict - a long shared border between Myanmar and Bangladesh with an explosive birth rate, evil legacy left behind by the colonialists and a low socioeconomic status of both the Rakhine and Muslim communities, the president pointed out.

As recommended by the investigation commission, he said community peace and tranquility, and the enforcement of law and order to contain further violence are immediate actions to take.

"As president, I will get everything done in my power to make sure that all security forces cooperate and coordinate with each other to effectively perform law enforcement duties entrusted to them," Thein Sein said.

The president pledged relief and humanitarian assistance for all those who lost their homes and property in the violence.

He also promised necessary assistance to international aid agencies working in the country.

The president said some of the activities carried out by international relief organisations may have worsened the situation in the conflict areas in Rakhine State. Therefore, they are urged to take into account local sensitivities when planning relief activities and to try to win trust and support of both communities, he added.

As recommended by the commission, the government will take all necessary security measures to prevent illegal immigration. Moreover, citizenship-related issues will be handled by adopting short- and long-term plans to create a harmonious society and achieve economic development in Rakhine state.

In his televised speech, President Thein Sein said the government will take measures not only to ensure the fundamental rights of the Muslims in Rakhine state but also to meet the needs and expectations of the Rakhine nationals.

According to the commission's report, two waves of sectarian violence in Rakhine State last year left 192 people dead, 265 injured, 8,614 houses destroyed, and more than 100,000 people internally displaced.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 48 minutes ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 7 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 8 hours ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.