Pres Thein Sein To Visit Arson Attack Township
President Thein Sein is due to visit Thandwe township tomorrow 2nd October, following large scale destruction and arson across many villages in Arakan state, Burma. Having already praised Wira Thu, the hate speech monk and poster boy of the '969' fascist movement thought to be responsible for recent attacks, it is widely expected that Thein Sein will not publicly call for investigation for this new wave of dissent and brutality.
Violence erupted once again on the 29th September in Thandwe township. Home to a mixed community of Rakhine and Kaman, '969' have been operating in the area for some time, warning the Kaman, who are Muslim and legally recognised community of citizens, to leave the township. The rhetoric used by '969' previously had been hugely anti-Rohingya and has moved to a more anti-Islam message with the Kaman community now on the brunt of well organised extremist activity.
As night fell, a spate of reports had come in to suggest that all strategic points - the airport, bus terminals and seaports - were closed with considerable numbers of the Rakhine 969 supporters and assailants preparing for fresh attacks under the cover of night.
A total of 158 houses have been reported as being totally destroyed by deliberate fire attacks across the townships of Pauk Taw, Taung Baw and Tha Bru Kyang villages. Further arson attacks have taken place on Muslim places of worship with Tha Bru Kyang mosque being badly damaged. Unconfirmed reports suggest that as many as 17 are feared dead and many more injured whilst trying to protect their properties and families. A reported 200 Kaman are thought to be seeking refuge in a forest near the Pauk Taw village.
The arson attacks are being taken place in Thandwe Aung Min Galar Goone village .
The Kaman populated Aung Min Galar Goone village has also been under heavy intrusion by angry mobs of Buddhists from nearby Thari Daw village. At around 5pm on Tuesday evening, many shops were looted and wanton uncontrollable beatings of Kaman took place. Here alone it is reported that 22 Kaman lost their lives.
The violence seemingly will not stop and it is well regarded that these attacks have been planned to coincide with the President's visit. Thein Sein has received huge plaudits from the international community in recent times despite calls from many human rights groups, including ourselves, for a full UNHCR investigation into abuses against not only Rohingya communities but now also Kaman communities.