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Press Release 1-2016 Information Committee

Republic of the Union of Myanmar
State Counsellor’s Office
Information Committee
Press Release 1/2016
2nd Waning of Tazaungmon, 1378 ME
(16 November 2016) 

The following is an unofficial translation of press release 1/2016 of the State Counsellor’s Office information committee
1. As regards the news item about burning the abodes in Maungtaw area which appeared in Bangkok Post 14th November 2016 issue, the statement of the Tatmataw’s True News Releasing Body was published in State-run newspapers of 15/11/2016 issue.

2. To be able to release the true situation concerning the news accurately, aerial photos were taken by Tatmataw-owned helicopter in the villages of Wapeik, Kyetyoepyin, Dargyizar and surrounding area in addition to on-the-ground-sightseeing in the evening of November 15. During the inspection, it was found that nearly 105 buildings in Wapeik village were burnt down, with about 30 in Kyetyoepyin, 30 or so in Dargyizar and some 20 abodes in Pyaungpike set on fire.

3. Upon receipt of the news that some 10 armed attackers entered Wapeik village in the evening of November 13, security forces went to clear them out. Due to the clearance attack ofthe security forces, the attackers set houses in the village on fire and fled away. That news was published in the Myawady newspaper and broadcast on Myawady TV on November 14. The Bangkok Post covered a news report based on satellite photos released by Human Rights Watch, in which it accused that some 100 buildings were burnt down before November 13. It was reported in Myawady newspaper and on Myawady TV on October 13 that there were only 25 buildings burnt down in the above-said village before the news released by HRW. According to findings from investigation, it is learnt that 105 units out of its original number of buildings—261 houses were ruined in the fire. Despite the fact that 245 houses in the village of Kyetyoepyin were described to have been burnt down in Bangkok Post, only 30 out of its original number—362 were found to have been destroyed by the arsonists. Similarly, according to the onthe- ground-survey, there were only 30 buildings burnt down out of its original number—330 in Dargyizar village. BP accused that 700 buildings were destroyed by the arsonists. Although HRW expressed that 85 buildings were ruined in the fire, the actual number was only 20. It has been released that outbreaks of fire were caused by the violent attackers.

4. During the aerial inspection of the fire-destroyed sites by helicopter,some buildings were found blazing near Yekhatchaung Gwasone village at 3 p.m or so. Government troops in the line of security duty extinguished the fire. In it, 17 houses were burnt down.

5. It was found that armed attackers waging terrorist attacks on Maungtaw area are burning villages and spreading false news and concocted stories linking with some media with a view to getting monetary aids from international organisations and misunderstanding security forces launching area clearance operation. The activities of area clearance operation in Maungtaw area will be released to keep pace with the time.

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1. At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid a 5-day official visit to Japan from 1st to 5th November2016.

2. On the morning of 2nd November 2016, the State Counsellor met with Myanmar community in Japan at Rihga Hotel in Waseda. The meeting was attended by about 1,300 Myanmar nationals. During the meeting, the State Counsellor stressed that Myanmar citizens staying in Japan including students and businessmen are encouraged to contribute their experience for the development of their homeland, and for those who were already granted other citizenships should also be loyal to their respective countries; at the same time, they are advised not to forget the gratitude of their motherland. The State Counsellor also replied the questions raised by Myanmar nationals, pertaining to political, economic, social, cultural, education and consular matters.

3. The State Counsellor later visited Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, met with the staff members and families of the Myanmar Embassy and the Office of the Military, Naval and Air Attaches’, and attended the lunch hosted by the Myanmar Embassy.

4. In the evening, the State Counsellor was accorded a ceremonial welcome by the Prime Minister of Japan at Akasaka State Guest House. Then, the State Counsellor and the Prime Minister of Japan held a bilateral meeting. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral relations including the promotion of economic cooperation, defense cooperation, human resources development of Myanmar, expansion of youth exchanges and Japan’s support towards National Reconciliation process in Myanmar, and regional issues.

5. Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe committed himself to support Myanmar’s democratization process, development of human resources through people-to-people exchange, encouraging more private investment from Japan, and support for the national reconciliation and peace process in Myanmar. Moreover, Prime Minister Mr. Abe pledged to extend economic assistance worth Japanese Yen (40) billion over next five years for development projects in ethnic minority areas in Myanmar. The Prime Minister was convinced that the aid would help Myanmar settle its deep-rooted ethnic conflict, as well as supporting top priorities for the Myanmar Government.

6. The Prime Minister also announced that the Government of Japan and Japan-based private-sector businesses are ready to contribute a total of about Japanese Yen (800) billion to the development of Myanmar through Myanmar-Japan Cooperation Programmes in support of the Myanmar Government’s efforts for equitable development between rural and urban areas over next five years.

7. The State Counsellor expressed her appreciation on behalf of the Government and the people of Myanmar for consistent support extended by the Government and the people of Japan for peace and national reconciliation, and democratisation in Myanmar. The State Counsellor stressed that the said fund would be utilized efficiently and transparently. The State Counsellor also expressed her heartfelt appreciation for assistance pledged by the Japanese Government and private sector, and asked for effective support to necessary requirement of the country, particularly in the areas of agriculture, transportation, energy sufficiency, and human resources development.

8. Afterwards, the State Counsellor and the Prime Minister of Japan attended the signing ceremony of “Exchange of Notes for the dispatch of volunteers to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar under the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers Program between the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Government of Japan”. Then, the two leaders held a joint press conference and briefed the press on the highlights of the discussions and points of agreements reached during the talks. After the joint press conference, the State Counsellor attended the welcome dinner hosted by Prime Minister ABE at the Kacho-Hall at Akasaka State Guest House.

9. On the morning of 3rd November 2016, the State Counsellor received Foreign Minister Mr. Fumio KISHIDA at the Imperial Hotel and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international matters including Myanmar’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty (CTBT), cooperation in the advancement of regional connectivity which would contribute to peace and security of the region, as well as connectivity among countries in the Mekong region. The Foreign Minister expressed Japan’s readiness to support for the successful hosting of ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar in 2017.

10. Afterwards, the State Counsellor left for Kyoto to receive an Honourary Doctorate Degree in the advancement of democracy, conferred by the Kyoto University. After the ceremony, the State Counsellor held a panel discussion with students from Kyoto University. In the evening, the State Counsellor attended the dinner hosted by the Governor of Kyoto Prefecture, the Mayor of Kyoto and the Chairman of Kyoto City Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Kyoto State Guest House.

11. On the morning of 4th November 2016, the State Counsellor had a royal audience with Their Majesties Emperor AKIHOTO and Empress MICHIKO at the Imperial Palace of Japan in Tokyo.

12. On the same day, the State Counsellor attended the Luncheon hosted by the Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), where she delivered a speech, welcoming more responsible investment from Japanese private sectors. In the evening, the State Counsellor gave a press conference to Japanese media at the Japan National Press Club.

13. In the evening, the State Counsellor attended the dinner hosted by Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Yoshihide SUGA at the State Guest House. During the dinner, Mr. SUGA expressed that the visit of State Counsellor to Japan was fruitful and productive with three major results—the Government of Japan could pledge its continued support to the new administration of Myanmar, the Prime Minister and the State Counsellor share views on promotion of people-to-people exchange between the two countries, and the State Counsellor herself invited more responsible investment from Japanese private sectors. Mr. SUGA committed himself to ensure speedy implementation of the agreements that have been reached between the two leaders.

14. The State Counsellor left Japan on 5th November 2016at 11:00hrs and arrived back in Yangon at 16:00 hrs. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nay Pyi Taw
Dated: 5th November 2016

Joint statement issued on the occasion of the state Visit of the state Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Republic of India

20 October 2016

1. At the invitation of H.E. Shri narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the republic of India, H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid a State Visit to India from October 17-19, 2016. Earlier, the State Counsellor had participated in the BrICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa on October 16.

2. State Counsellor Daw aung San Suu Kyi was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance, U Kyaw Tin, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, U Toe Aung Myint, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and U Kyaw Linn, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Construction. She was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the rashtrapati Bhavan on October 18, 2016. The Prime Minister hosted a lunch in her honour.

3. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi paid tribute and respect to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at rajghat. She recalled the historic and fraternal support extended by the leaders of both India and Myanmar to the freedom movements in each others’ country.

4. H.E. Smt Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, had a meeting with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

5. The Indian leadership congratulated the State Counsellor on the historic achievement of the national League for Democracy at the general elections in Myanmar last year and underlined India’s commitment to support the Government of Myanmar in its quest to achieve the aspirations of the Myanmar people.

6. The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on various issues of mutual interest. India expressed support for the efforts of the State Counsellor for the economic and social development of the country, especially job creation, capacity building, reconstruction of roads, provision of power, education facilities and health infrastructure that would contribute to progress and prosperity of the people of Myanmar. It was agreed that areas for cooperation identified during the visit to India of Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw in August 2016 would be fast-tracked for implementation.

7. India expressed the hope that, as a diverse and pluralistic society, Myanmar would be able to find equitable solutions peacefully through consultations among all stakeholders. India reaffirmed its commitment to assist Myanmar’s efforts for strengthening democratic institutions and to support the 21st Century Panglong peace process now underway in Myanmar and expressed the hope that this would lead to enduring peace.

8. In the context of the recent terrorist attacks in Uri, the State Counsellor condemned the terrorist incident and conveyed her deep condolences to the loved ones of those who lost their lives. The Prime Minister also condemned the recent armed attacks against three border posts in the northern part of Rakhine State and expressed his profound sympathy for the families of the policemen killed in the attacks.

9. Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever committed and agreed that the fight against terrorism should target terrorists, terror organisations, networks and also hold to account states that encourage, support or finance terrorism in any way. Both sides also agreed that terrorism is first and foremost a violation of human rights and that there can be no justification for extending support, financing, provision of material resources or training to terrorists who destroy innocent lives. Both countries called for the expeditious finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism presently being negotiated in the United Nations.

10. Both sides shared the view that maintaining security along the border is essential for the socio-economic development of the border area. In this regard, both sides underlined their mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight insurgent activity and the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Both sides also agreed that the long-standing commitment not to allow insurgent groups to use their soil for hostile activities against the other side is essential for the prosperity of the people residing along the border. In this context, it was agreed that the Border Guard Forces on both sides would further coordinate and exchange information towards securing the common borders. Both sides also agreed to expedite discussions regarding relevant border segments.

11. Both sides expressed their mutual respect for the already-demarcated boundary between the two countries, and stressed the need to resolve outstanding boundary demarcation issues as soon as possible through existing mechanisms.

12. Understanding that enabling and facilitating regulated and easy movement of people across the land borders for business, tourism and other purposes is in the interest of both countries, both sides also agreed to coordinate, through diplomatic channels, the setting up of immigration facilities at the Tamu-Moreh and RhiZowkhathar border crossing points.

13. Both sides agreed to remove impediments to trade and commerce to enable bilateral trade and investment to reach its full potential. It was agreed to hold early meetings of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), Joint Working Groups on Border Trade and Border Haats, and Joint Working Groups on Railways and Shipping. Myanmar side reiterated its intention to invite Indian companies to participate in competitive tenders for petrochemical and petroleum products, marketing infrastructure and the setting up of LPG terminals.

14. Both sides agreed on the need for close cooperation on the development of ocean-based Blue Economy and Maritime Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and to chart out ways for future cooperation.

15. The two sides reviewed the development cooperation initiatives being undertaken with technical and financial assistance from the Government of India and agreed that these should be expedited, as the areas of connectivity upgradation, capacity building, agriculture, education infrastructure, healthcare and IT and industrial training, and various other training programmes are directly linked to the well being of the people.

16. India expressed its willingness to support pulses research in Myanmar by extending cooperation in the area of developing improved varieties, cultivation practices and pulses procurement. The project proposal on the Establishment of Varietal Development and Seed Production Centre on Pulses would be finalized soon.

17. Recognising the contribution of power infrastructure, generation and transmission capacity to socio-economic progress, India will assist in strengthening the power supply elements on projects identified by the Myanmar Government. In this context, both sides expressed satisfaction over the signing of an MoU between India and Myanmar on Cooperation in the field of Power.

18. As a technology demonstration pilot project, Myanmar welcomed the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the provisioning and installation of an LED based energy efficient lighting project in Myanmar. Both sides agreed to select the location through consultations between India, Myanmar and relevant state government.

19. Recognizing the need to upgrade training infrastructure and capacity-building of the Police, India agreed to support Myanmar in creating police training infrastructure and to share expertise in developing training manuals, including in forensics and cyber-security. The Yamethin Women’s Police Training Centre would be developed into a Centre of Excellence by providing appropriate standards, environment, infrastructure and materials for training.

20. The Myanmar side expressed its deep appreciation to the Government of India for all assistance rendered to Myanmar in its endeavours for economic and social development.

21. The India side agreed to Myanmar’s request for the provision of more diplomatic training related to the capacity building of Myanmar Foreign Service officials and to assist Myanmar in its ongoing efforts for the development of a diplomatic academy in Yangon.

22. The two sides agreed to set up an Eminent Persons Group to explore means of consolidating and further expanding the multi-faceted relations between the two countries. It was decided that the modalities for the establishment and working of the Group would be worked out subsequently.

23. Turning to regional and multilateral affairs, both leaders noted the commonality of their views on global issues of consequence. Both sides underlined the need for early reform of the UN Security Council. Myanmar side reiterated its support for India’s efforts to become a permanent member in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.

24. The Myanmar side congratulated India for the successful hosting of BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit which has been just concluded in Goa. The two sides also took note of discussions during the Outreach Summit and expressed their shared commitment to promoting regional cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, transportation, connectivity, energy and counter terrorism within the BIMSTEC framework.

25. The State Counsellor thanked the President of the Republic of India for the warmest hospitality accorded to her and the delegation and especially for the accommodation arrangement for the delegation at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace). She also thanked the Prime Minister of India for the exceptional hospitality extended to her and to the members of the delegation during their visit to India.

26. The State Counsellor extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of India to visit Myanmar at the earliest possible mutually convenient date and the invitation was accepted. The dates for the visits will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

Press release regarding the attacks on the Border Guard Police posts in Maungdaw Township

13th October 2016

1. On the morning of 9th October 2016, armed attackers carried out a surprise attack on Kyikanpyin Border Guard Police (Number One) Headquarters, Kotankauk Police Outpost, and Ngakhuya Local Police Office. As a result of this attack, 9 members of the Myanmar Police Force were killed, and 48 weapons of various types and 6624 rounds of assorted ammunition, 47 bayonets, and 164 magazines were lost. Following the defensive actions of the police, the bodies of 8 attackers were found, and 2 attackers were captured alive. From them, 1 homemade pistol, 2 rounds of ammunition, and 1 magazine were recovered.

2. The armed attackers, with the weapons and ammunition they had seized, continued to move around the Maungdaw District and carry out attacks. Tatmadaw infantry units together with members of the Myanmar Police Force have carried out joint combat operations against the attackers. Joint columns of Tatmadaw and police have conducted clearance operations in the areas where the attackers are hiding. During these operations they have had frequently come into armed contact with the attackers. So far, five members of the Tatmadaw have given their lives.

3. According to the initial findings of the interrogations of the two attackers who were captured and two additional attackers whom Bangladesh handed over to Myanmar, the attacks in Maungdaw Township were systematically planned in advance over a long period of time, assisted by foreign funding and the support of members of foreign terrorist organisations.

4. According to the findings of the interrogations, the attacks in Maungdaw were intended to promote extremist violent ideology among the majority Muslim population in the area. Using Maungdaw as a foothold, this was an attempt to take over the areas of Maungdaw and Buthitaung. For this, they received significant financial support from extremist individuals in some Middle Eastern countries. This funding was not provided by particular organisations, but was provided secretly through contacts between individuals.

5. Interrogations have revealed that the attacks in Maungdaw were carried out by the Aqa Mul Mujahidin organisation which is active in Maungdaw, and which is linked to the RSO armed organisation. The leader of this organisation is Havistoohar, a religious and social extremist aged around 45 years old, of Kyaukpyinseik village in Maungdaw Township. He previously attended a six-month Taliban training course in Pakistan, and he has 4 sisters and 1 brother living in Saudi Arabia. Assuming the identity of a refugee, he frequently went to stay in a village near Teknaf in Bangladesh, from where he received funding from organisations based in the Middle East. Among those he worked with were: a Pakistani citizen called Kalis who came to NgaKuRa village after living in Bangladesh; Ibrahim, Aza, and Ayatullah who lived in Kutabaloun refugee camp in Bangladesh; and 12 men living in Nila refugee camp including individuals called Zubaid and Islam. Kalis previously attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and he speaks Myanmar, Bengali, Arakan, Malay and Pakistani languages fluently. Around five months ago, through the arrangement of Havistoohar, Kalis came to Maungdaw and began delivering armed training classes to local extremist youths recruited and mobilised by Havistoohar.

6. The four main instigators in Middle NgaKuRa village, called Abdul Rahman, Munet, Kapiktulah and Akis, had all attended an RSO training course. Havistoohar, Kalis, Mabuya of Maungnama Village (who led the attack on Kyikanpyin), together with 12 attackers who had come from a refugee camp in Bangladesh, had carried out robberies in the villages of Pha Wut Chaung, Ale Than Kyaw and Nga Chaung in Maungdaw Township.

7. According to the findings of the interrogations, Havistoohar and his organisation mobilised extremist youths in the Maungdaw area. They secretly ran weapons training and self-defence training in remote locations in the hills and forests, as well as in the compound of Abdul Rahman in the Middle Nga Ku Ra village, and in the forest near Kyauk Pyin Seik village. Following this, plans were drawn up to carry out violent attacks.

8. Havistoohar had planned for a total of around 400 attackers to simultaneously launch attacks on 6 separate locations: Mabuya would lead around 100 attackers against Kyikanpyin Border Guard Police (Number One) Headquarters; Kalis and Abdul Rahman would lead around 100 attackers against Ngakhuya Police Local Office; Wadif would lead around 50 attackers against Kyain Chaung Local Police Office; Aza would lead around 50 attackers against Kyauk Hlay Kar Local Police Office; Raw Paing would lead around 50 attackers against Ywet Nyo Taung Local Police Office; and Abu Kumar would lead around 12 attackers against Kotankauk Police Outpost. However, on 9th October they were only able to attack three locations: Kyikanpyin, Kotankauk, and Ngakhuya. Havistoohar had instructed that after attacking the bases, the attackers should murder the members of the police, take their weapons and equipment, and use those weapons in further attacks on nearby Tatmadaw and police bases. Before the attacks took place, the organisation leaders systematically explained to the attackers the plan of attack.

9. The Aqa Mul Mujahidin organisation deployed tactics often used in violent armed attacks around the world: receiving foreign funding (from those originally from Maungdaw but now in the Middle East); attending terrorist training courses (delivered by the Taliban in Pakistan, and RSO in Bangladesh); and using religion to mobilise extremist youth in Maungdaw. According to their plan, they intended to take over the majority-Muslim areas of Buthitaung and Maungdaw, and to spread propaganda through disseminating video files on the internet and via social networks, in line with the methods of terrorist organisations such as the Taleban, Al Qaeda and ISIS, in order to attract greater foreign support and funding and encourage the cooperation and participation of domestic and foreign religious extremists.

10. At present, the small armed organisation led by Havistoohar is still attempting to carry out continued attacks in the Maungdaw area with a strength of almost 400 extremist armed attackers. Members of the Myanmar Police Force are taking responsibility for security and rule of law, and Tatmadaw military columns have responsibility for clearance operations. The police and the Tatmadaw are carrying out these responsibilities at full strength. In doing so, they are frequently coming into armed contact with the attackers. At the same time, investigations are continuing into domestic and foreign terrorist links and supporters of terrorism. Further news will continue to be released as it is received, so as to keep the general public informed.

11. The attacks in Maungdaw were systematically planned and prepared over a long period of time with the support and assistance of foreign terrorist organisations and supporters of terrorism. These attacks were an attempt to attack and destroy the security of the nation, and the lives, property and security of the citizens of the country. We will take effective action to defend against, respond to and defeat all armed violent attacks and attempted attacks, in accordance with the Constitution, the anti-terrorism law, and other existing laws relating to security and defence. Not only the attacks in Maungdaw, but all violent attacks or attempted attacks will be responded to effectively, and defeated. We will continue to investigate and identify those controlling and organising the armed attacks from behind the scenes, those who are secretly providing funding, and all organisations and individuals that support armed attacks, and we will take effective action against them. Furthermore, we will take strong action in line with the law against those who try to take advantage of these attacks by instigating or attempting to instigate religious or social conflicts and unrest between communities.

12. We call on our citizens to understand the actions of the government, and to be aware and pay attention to the danger of violent attacks. We call on our citizens to work together with responsible persons to prevent instigation on religious or social grounds within your communities, and to prevent the spread of conflict to other areas. We ask religious and community leaders to make every effort to work together to help to prevent the emergence of conflicts. And we ask our citizens to cooperate with the government for the sake of national security and the defence of the Union.

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Berlin

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Thielallee 19, 14195, Berlin
Germany.
Ph : (+49) 30 206 1570, Fax : (+49) 30 206 15720
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