“Their [ARSA] main objective is to rally through fear, build strongholds, and declare the whole region as their liberated area,” Maj-Gen Aung Ye Win said at a Myanmar Army press briefing in Naypyitaw on Tuesday for military attaches of foreign countries and the media on attacks in northern Rakhine State.
“They managed to rally some 50 percent of Bengalis in Buthidaung and Maungdaw. They mobilized in different places for each household to send a person to participate in the attacks,” he added, referring to the stateless Rohingya population, which the Myanmar government and many in the country refer to as Bengali to infer that they are interlopers from Bangladesh.
According to the briefing, ARSA, which claimed responsibility for attacks last week on 30 police outposts and an army base in Rakhine State, sent a letter to the government on March 29 listing 20 demands. Recently declared a terrorist organization by the government, ARSA had been plotting jihad for some time, according to military leaders.
On Tuesday, home affairs minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe claimed that the recent attacks were a move on the part of ARSA to establish an “Islamic State” in Rakhine.
“Bengalis want their own territory. So, they drove Arakanese people out of the country and this resulted in conflict. They made political and military movements to demand their own territory,” said Maj-Gen Aung Ye Win, who is also the vice-chairman of the Myanmar Army True News Information Team.
Muslims account for 34 percent of the total population in Rakhine State, and there are 1,272 mosques in Buthidaung and Maungdaw, and no restriction of religion, he said. He claimed that the attacks were not religiously motivated, but due to the Rohingya being unwilling to undergo the citizenship verification process and wanting to gain territorial control.
The treatment of the region’s 1.1 million stateless Rohingya has been one of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s biggest challenges. For years, they have been denied citizenship, endured apartheid-like conditions and faced severe travel restrictions.
Tensions had been running high recently between the ethnic Arakanese and Rohingya Muslim populations, who remained largely separated since inter-communal violence in 2012 and 2013 displaced around 140,000 people, the vast majority of them Rohingya. The worst violence that the area has seen in years has sent thousands to flee the area once again.
He said the Myanmar Army would ensure that a National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) meeting was summoned if necessary, adding that the army was striving for stability but that continued attacks could threaten national security.
Maj-Gen Aung Ye Win said the Myanmar Army was fully cooperating with the government and had offered suggestions, but the decision to summon an NDSC meeting was ultimately in the hands of President U Htin Kyaw.
(But after the emergency meeting between the Arakan Nationalist Parties and Burma Army top brass the whole elite division of LID-99 was airlifted to Arakan just this week and now being deployed along the Burma-Bangladesh border while other elite division LID-33 has been waging brutal clearing campaign on the remote May-yu Range in Northern Arakan.
ASSK's NLD government wasn't even consulted on that massive troop deployment. So far more than 20,000 army and military police troops are actively involving in uprooting the latest Muslim insurgency in Northern Arakan.)
On Monday, the President’s Office sent a letter to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, instructing the Myanmar Army to continue cooperating with the Myanmar Police Force in operations in Rakhine State.
Maj-Gen Than Htut Thein said the Myanmar Army had to join the operations as the situation was beyond the defensive capacity of the police force.
The president, state counselor and Myanmar Army deputy commander-in-chief had discussions over the phone, in which they agreed to deploy additional military troops to the area and employ helicopters in the operations.
|Urgent Airlift of 5,000-strong elite Light Infantry Division (LID) 99 To Arakan State.|
(Carrying just one company a trip two heavy transporters from Burma Air Force took two days to complete the job.)
A Tatmadaw press conference on attacks by extremist Bengali terrorists in northern part of Rakhine State in August 2017 was held at Bayintnaung parlour in Nay Pyi Taw this afternoon.
Present at the press conference were Maj-Gen Than Htut Thein of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), Tatmadaw True News Information Committee Chairman Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo, Director of the Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare Maj-Gen Aung Ye Win, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), officials of the Ministry of Defence.
Invited and attended were the foreign military attachés to Myanmar, members of Myanmar Media Council, Myanmar Journalists Association and Myanmar Journalist Network and reporters from local news agencies and locally-based foreign news agencies.
First, Maj-Gen Aung Ye Win clarified the background history of Bengalis such as the entry of Bengalis from Bangalore and Chittagong in the British colonial era, conflicts between Bengalis and ethnic Rakhines, Rakhine-Bengali confl ict in 2012, Bengalis’ terrorist attacks in 2016, solving problems, and the Bengalis’ focus on series of terrorist attacks from October 2016 to August 2017.
Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo elaborated on terrorist attacks of extremist Bengali terrorists since August 25, 2017 and details of attacks so far, and Tatmadaw’s cooperation with police in repulsing the mass attacks of extremist Bengalis after attacks reached a level beyond the defensive capacity of police and Maj-Gen Than Htut Thein explained Tatmadaw’s actions in response to terrorist attacks of extremist Bengalis.
Military Attaché of Australia Col. Paul Andrew Bruce asked about the proportional size of security forces in search and raid operations; military attaché of Bangladesh Brig. General Rashedul Mannan proposed cooperation in counter-terrorism operations; military attaché of United States Col. Craig J. Tippins called for caution in search and raid operations, highlighting the possibility of some villagers shifting to the side of terrorists.
|Burmese army soldiers safely bringing replaced Buddhists back into their villages|
after wiping out Rohingya terrorists from the occupied Buddhist villages.
Bengali Muslims' Mujahid Insurgency (1948-1954)
1942 Bengali Genocide of Buddhists In Maungdaw District