British FM pays tightly-managed tour to torn Arakan state

Staff Reporter|RNTv:

The British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt paid a three-hour, tightly-managed tour to troubled northern Arakan state Thursday, September 20, second day of his 2day visit to Burma via helicopter trip in which he visited epicentres of the Arakan crisis.

RNTv Maungdaw correspondent reports, Mr.
Hunt visited four locations including the Taung Pyo Letwe returnee reception centre that has been opened to receive the refugees returning from Bangladesh though the centre has still to receive no Rohinya returnees as they fear returning to Rakhine without their safety and rights guaranteed.

All of the locations Hunt was shepherded to, he found a pre-selected group of locals made waiting to speak to him. While passing through Pan Taw Pyin village, the final stop, he walked off to try to speak with nearby residents regarding their experiences despite the heavy security presence.

The brutal military crack-down last year drove more than 700,000 innocent Rohingya Muslim minority to flee their homes and hearths and take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. The trip comes a day after UN investigators released a damning and meticulous report outlining the grenocide against Rohingya and refer Burma to ICC for prosecution of top Burmese generals. UN investigators also say, the acts and omissions of Suu Kyi’s government contributed to the atrocity crimes in the crisis.

At the end of the Arakan tour Hunt met with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and exchanged views on Arakan crisis. He had asked to meet with the general Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw but was declined. Yet the commander-in-chief has received nearly a dozen Western diplomats and UN officials since the start of 2017; some were even given helicopter tours of the country’s conflict zones. UK Foreign FM Jeremy Hunt has just become the exception.

British FM Cheremy Hunt will head to New York next week for the UN General Assembly, where he will chair a foreign ministers’ meeting Monday on Burma.