A local elder criticised the Arakan State Authorities for preventing Arakan civil society organisations (CSOs) from holding discussions with the Arakan State Advisory Commission Chairman, Kofi Annan in Sittwe on 6 September.
U Oo Than Tun, a local elder, said that local elders and CSO representatives were invited to meet Kofi Annan at a meeting held at the Arakan State Government office on 6 September.
He said that the original agenda had included a question and answer session, but it did not happen because the authorities ended the meeting after U Kyaw Tint Swe from the State Counsellor’s Office, Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, and Kofi Annan had finished speaking.
He said: “The public already mistrust this Arakan Commission and now I believe they have insulted Sittwe’s local elders and social organisations. That’s why trust in this commission has totally disappeared.”
When Narinjara News asked U Oo Than Tun why the authorities had not held the question and answer session he said he did not know.
Protesters outside the Arakan State Government office
He said he disapproved of Kofi Annan, a former Secretary-General of the UN, because Mr Annan had talked about ensuring fairness and a lack of bias in handling the Arakan State issue and U Oo Than Tun thought expressing such sentiments was an insult to local ethnic people.
Over 200 people protested against the Arakan State Advisory Commission while the meeting was being held at the Arakan State Government office and over 1,000 people protested against the commission at Sittwe Airport.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI