Clarification of the true instance and situation about Paletwa area
30 September 2020
The United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) hand in hand with the Arakanese Peoples has robustly been facing the massive offensive assaults and attacks from all sides of the racial extremist, invading fascist, war criminal Myanmar Army for almost two years. The Myanmar Army has constantly been conducting the four-cut-campaign in the areas of Arakan and Paletwa even amid the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic second wave. The Myanmar Government has deliberately been covering up the atrocious human rights violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes of its military by cutting off internet access in ten townships for over a year.
In addition, the Myanmar Army has not only severely restricted but also blocked off the flow of goods and traveling by land and waterways. The inhabitants know well such the heinous acts of the Myanmar Army since before the Coronavirus outbreak. Due to the disruption of the internet connection, there has been no harm to our organization except for the health, education, socio-economic, and hardship of all local innocent civilians amid the prevention and combating the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The traveling by the land and waterways in the environs of Paletwa area have strictly been blocking off by the battalions based in Paletwa Township and Chin State, the battalions under the command of the 11th, 55th, and 77th Divisions. The checkpoints of these battalions have been installed along with the land and waterways where innocent civilians normally travel and severely restricted the flow of goods and travel. Moreover, the Myanmar Army has continuously been conducting cutting off and blocking off the transportation from the four-cut-campaign with together their military operation throughout the Paletwa Township. Therefore, road closure in the Paletwa area is nothing to do with us but it is because of the checkpoints of the Myanmar Army installing along with the land and waterways.
The so-called security checkpoints of the Myanmar Army have been charging exorbitant fees from the vehicles traveling on the land and waterways. Each of the trucks and boats is taxed from (50,000 kyats) to (200,000 kyats). Those seeking their daily livelihood are having to pay bribes at the gates of the Myanmar Army. As a result, consumers are having to buy the goods at higher prices than before because basic food items are being sold at higher prices than usual. For example, a bag of rice worth 20,000 kyats (current price) in Kyauktaw Town, Arakan costs up to 50,000 kyats in Paletwa Town. The difficulty of transportation and rising prices for the basic groceries are nothing to do with the Arakan Army but it is because of the checkpoints of the Myanmar Army controlling the flow of the goods and transportation ways along with the land and waterways.
In addition, the Myanmar Army has been forcing trucks and boats as porters without paying any money to transport its military equipment at those checkpoints. The innocent civilians are not allowed to travel safely and the Myanmar Army’s troops at those checkpoints have brazenly been committing thuggish acts such as occasionally firing the heavy and light weapons, killing, abducting, and torturing the innocent civilians, and unlawfully confiscating the goods.
The United League of Arakan/Arakan Army ineluctably has to summon and interrogate some suspects as needed to prevent enemy tactics and incursions during the battles. However, everyone knows that the faultless and innocent civilians were released after being interrogated in accordance with the Code of Conduct without torturing and killing.
On the other hand, some Chin Civil Society Organizations backed by veterans of the Myanmar Army and some so-called Chin social media outlets under the shadow of their influence and orders have been covering up the truths of Paletwa Township, misrepresenting the real situation on the ground and spreading one-sided accusations and propagandas, and intentionally misleading the public by misrepresenting information. It is a collaboration with the enemy to blame on our organization for war crimes committed by the Myanmar Army.
The news of the disappearance of some Paletwa residents is one of their propaganda allegations. We would like to make it clear and decisively deny that our organization has never detained any of the individuals involved in the allegations. Our organization is deeply concerned about the survival and fate of these missing persons. These are baseless allegations and only imaginative actions to decoy the other organization because they want to encourage the enemy from the other side.
Such acts are often carried out by the terrorist group, invading fascist, Myanmar Army backed by the Myanmar Regime, which is the main body responsible for the detention and torture of local innocent ethnic civilians. It is respectfully clarified that the truth and justice will be obtained if the investigation is conducted with an impartial point of view and free from corruption.
United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA)