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Dhaka Tribune

Myanmar upset at DT article

Update : 25 Mar 2014, 08:14 PM

The Myanmar government expressed its concern over a Dhaka Tribune article on Rohingya and Rakhine states.

The country summoned Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Anup Kumar Chakma and expressed its displeasure at the article.

“They summoned me yesterday and asked me about the article,” Anup told the Dhaka Tribune Tuesday.

The Dhaka Tribune published an article titled “A referendum in Rakhine state?” on March 20 on its Op-ed page where the writer says: “A solution can be sought in a referendum to separate Sittwe and Muangdaw from Rakhine state and join them to Chittagong division.”

“I told them the media in Bangladesh is free and the content of the article reflects individual’s view. It does not reflect the position of the government,” Anup said. The ambassador said the local media and others were very upset over the writing.

The Myanmar newspaper Irrawaddy reported that the Myanmar Journalists Association condemned the article saying it “intends to incite religious and racial hatred and conflicts in Myanmar, violates journalistic ethics, interferes in Myanmar’s domestic affairs and infringes on Myanmar’s sovereignty.”

Mya Aye, an 88 Student Generation leader and Muslim, said in a reaction on his Facebook page “the article is just incitement and inflames the current racial and religious conflicts in Burma”.

“I want to tell the writer that we, the Islam in Burma, have never betrayed our country and are not accepting any kind of violence or terror acts and strongly object to any outside interference,” he wrote.

Quoting the President’s Office Director Zaw Htay, The Irrawaddy said the conflict in Rakhine state was still in a sensitive condition and they did not want any public anxiety on the ground because of the article.

In Rakhine state, tensions remain high between Rohingya Muslims and Arakanese Buddhists, after recurrent outbursts of inter-communal violence since 2012 have displaced 140,000 people, mostly Muslims, and left almost 200 dead.

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