Extremist Buddhist Leader Arrested with Grenade and Weapons in Arakan

International Desk|RNTv:

An ethnic Rakhine-Bamar Buddhist Tun Myint Oo with apparent ultranationalist manner was found with grenade and weapons and detained with his wife in Arakan State on Monday after he had refused local authorities to leave a village cleared of Rohingya and razed to the ground in the wake of the violence that hit the area in August last year.

Burma’s The Irrawaddy on Wednesday confirmed that the detainee was found a grenade and several swords in his home with his wife, Ohmar Kyaw, in Maungdaw Township’s Thin Baw Gwe village. The couple was being held at Buthidaung prison and was charged by the local court under Article 505 (b) of the Penal Code for “threatening public tranquility,” which carries a maximum two-year prison term. Authorities have not revealed any details about the couple.

According to the posts on his Facebook, Tun Myint Oo is attending anti-Rohingya rallies led by Ma Ba Tha affiliates including the Myanmar National Network (MNN) and events in support of Article 59 (f) of the Constitution, which bars the country’s de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, from the presidency.

The account says Tun Myint Oo also serves as a central executive committee member of the anti-Muslim Peace and Diversity Party (PDP).

Union Election records say Tun Myint Oo contested the 2015 elections from PDP to represent Irrawaddy Region’s Kyonpyaw Township in the Upper House but lost to the National League for Democracy candidate.

[Tun Myint Oo (on the left of the microphone holder) attends a protest against the UN in 2014]

On Facebook, Tun Myint Oo has called for donations from nationalist groups to help settle the non-Muslims in Rohingya villages. His page says he has helped settled nearly 100 Arakan households in Thin Baw Gwe village in Maungdaw since December. Some of those settlers have confirmed to The Irrawaddy that Tun Myint Oo helped them be settled the village.

Local authorities have been telling the new arrivals to leave the village since early 2018 and most have since complied, relocating to other communities nearby.

UN officials and international aid groups aware of the resettlements in emptied Rohingya villages have complained to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and warned that they could spark further communal violence if the Rohingya families forced out of them are officially repatriated.