Dr. Aye Maung said,"Our stand is that we won’t give even an inch of our land to those illegal Bangali Terrorist Immigrants. We won’t give up our land, our breeze, our water which are handed to us by our ancestors."

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Only local solution can end ethnic unrest: DFID boss

Myanmar Times

By Nan Tin Htwe
Volume 32, No. 631
June 18 - 24, 2012

THE international community can play only a limited role in resolving a long-running ethnic conflict in Rakhine State that has in recent weeks claimed at least 50 lives, the head of the United Kingdom’s aid office in Myanmar said.

Mr Paul Whittingham, head of the Department for International Development in Myanmar, said in an interview on June 14 that the violence in Rakhine State, which has also seen scores injured and more than 2500 homes destroyed, was “very tragic”.

“We have been watching very closely and are concerned at the loss of lives, the flaring up of tensions,” he said. “I hope the situation can be restored very quickly.”

He said that while international aid could help people in Rakhine State rebuild after order is restored, the Rakhine and Rohingya communities and the government needed to exchange dialogue for a long-term resolution.

“That is not really a problem which the international community can solve,” he said.

“A process which involves unity and leaders from both sides needs to be established where people can express their concerns and priorities.”

He said that the British ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Andrew Heyn, had urged President U Thein Sein to do everything possible to prevent further conflict in Rakhine State when they met in Nay Pyi Taw on June 12 for the visit of the Peace Donor Support Group.

He said the Rakhine State conflict was “another challenge” for President U Thein Sein, noting it came on the heels of almost one year of fighting in Kachin State.

“The Rakhine issue is grave – the loss of lives. But the big picture is we believe this country is taking a new direction which is the right direction to a better future for the people here. And we are determined to support that process.”

DFID provides assistance to Rakhine State indirectly through United Nations agencies, international non-government organisations and local groups.

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