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1/17/2019 Dozens of Village Administrators Tender Resignation in Rakhine: Lawmaker

Burma

Dozens of Village Administrators Tender


Resignation in Rakhine: Lawmaker

 The welcome sign to Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State. / Min Aung Khine / The Irrawaddy

By MOE MYINT 16 January 2019

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1/17/2019 Dozens of Village Administrators Tender Resignation in Rakhine: Lawmaker

YANGON — About 30 village administrators across Rakhine State’s Rathedaung


Township submitted resignation letters to their local General Administration
Department on Tuesday for fear of being wrongly accused of association with the
Arakan Army (AA), according to a Union lawmaker with the Arakan National Party.

Daw Khin Saw Wai said the administrators played a key role in delivering public
services in rural areas and that their departure en masse could destabilize the local
government but that they increasingly felt under pressure from both the Myanmar
military and the AA.

“They have to maintain good relations with everyone, otherwise it will be quite risky for
them. But now they are afraid of being sued by senior authorities,” she said.

The lawmaker said the township General Administration Department has asked senior
officials how to handle the resignation letters. The Rathedaung department office could
not be reached for comment.

The government recently announced that it would be transferring the General


Administration Department from the military-controlled Ministry of Home Affairs to the
Ministry of the Office of the Union Government, which is under civilian control.

Daw Khin Saw Wai said two of her constituents, Yae Gaung Chaung Village
Administrator U Maung Tun Hlaing and another man, were accused by the military of
having ties to the AA in December.

“Many administrators assume that kind of action could happen to them in the near
future,” she said.

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1/17/2019 Dozens of Village Administrators Tender Resignation in Rakhine: Lawmaker

Yae Gaung Chaung resident U Tun Hlaing said the two men were detained on Dec. 18
and that the administrator of neighboring Tha Yet Pyin Village in Buthidaung Township
was recently charged under the Unlawful Associations Act.

A high-ranking military official recently sued the administrator of Say Taung Village for
accusing the military of forcing 11 locals to act as human shields in the area for its
soldiers. The administrator has been summoned by the court three times but yet to
appear.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Myanmar military said it had detained 15 people in Tha
Yet Pyin on suspicion of having ties to the AA and released all but two — the village
administrator and another man — who confessed to informing the AA of the military’s
movements. It said two residents of Yathedaung Township’s Kyein Thar Village were
also detained for allegedly using their phones to take photos of its soldiers in the area
and send them to the AA.

Topics: AA, administrator, Arakan Army, letter, Military, Rathedaung, resign, village

Moe Myint
The Irrawaddy

Moe Myint is  Senior Reporter at the English edition of The Irrawaddy.

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