Clarification of the instances on the news released by Tatmadaw True News Information Team on 16 July 2020 that "launching Counter Terrorism Operation against Arakan Army (AA) based in the environs of Htee-Sway, Aung-Thar-Zay and Kyauk-Tan villages in Rathedaung Township"
17 July 2020
An announcement was made through the township management committee in Rathedaung Township that the Myanmar Army was going to conduct "Clearance Operation" in many villages around Kyauk-Tan village (estimated to be more than 30 villages) in Rathedaung Township on 24 June 2020. Nevertheless, after some members of the international community have expressed serious concerns over these Myanmar state-sponsored terrorist attacks against civilians of Arakan, that notice has been revoked by the signature of Minister Colonel Min Than, Security and Border Affairs in Arakan within 48 hours on 26 June 2020.
However, the Myanmar Army has been relentlessly carrying out massive offensive assaults, including "Clearance Operations" in practice. Simultaneously, military operation columns and battalions based in Rathedaung are sporadically firing heavy artillery on a daily basis and they have been also constantly sending major reinforcements. In Paletwa, Ann, and Myebon townships, similar artillery shells were fired into villages almost daily.
On 16 July 2020, it was released that "the counter-terrorism military operation was being carried out against the Arakan Army (AA) based in the surrounding of Htee-Swe, Aung-Thar-Zay, and Kyauk-Tan villages in Rathedaung Township". Even before this news publication, the Myanmar Army was attacking the Arakan Army in every area with the necessary preparations for its massive offensive. Clashes were not intensified because we were keeping the fighting not to occur. Amid the whole world are struggling to prevent and combat the spread of Coronavirus and the unilateral ceasefire of the Arakan Army, it is considered that the Myanmar Army has been constantly launching the massive offensive attacks in Kyauk-Tan village in Rathedaung township and its environs under the banner of "Clearance Operations" due to the following facts.
(1) Rathedaung Township is one of the main rice-growing areas in Arakan. This is done to intentionally prevent farmers from cultivating paddy during the rainy season. The Myanmar Army has been committing war crimes such as planting the land-mines in the fields in order not to be able to cultivate paddy there, intimidation, detention, shooting against the farmers, and the body of the victim has been mutilated and dumped in public. This is a part of their systemic plan to create a famine in Arakan next year.
(2) Many villages, like Kyauk-Tan village in Rathedaung Township, have been displaced by the clashes. The villages around Kyuauk-Tan village tract, including some villages where there are only a few village guards and a handful of elderly people unable to leave due to illness, were temporarily empty without villagers. The Myanmar Army has been conducting a massive military operation because they want to devastate these villages during the rainy season. Actually, they are not attacking the Arakan Army, but creating fake battles and destroying the entire village.
(3) Counter Terrorism Operation is just a replacement for the Clearance Operations, which was used and implemented by the Myanmar Army during 2017. Although the spelling of the words is changed, its essence and action are not and it is only conducting genocide (or) ethnic cleansing campaign against other non-Burmese (Burma) ethnic groups in Arakan.
(4) All of the local villagers have known well that the Myanmar Army has been stationing and conducting military operations in those villages for a long time and carrying out light and heavy artillery attacks from the villages of their camps. To cover up the truth, the Myanmar Army has alleged in their statement that "the Arakan Army is entrenching (or) stationing in the villages" is just a pretext like "the thief just shouted back at the man".
Considering the current heinous acts and its past operations, many villages, including Kyauk-Tan village in Rathedaung Township are being plotted to wipe out and have starvation next year on the pretext of fighting.