National League for Democracy (NLD) party, Sittway Township Chairman San Shwe Kyaw said that the Union Government was planning to provide military training to local ethnic Rakhine people and equip them with arms for resolving armed conflicts in Maungdaw area, northern Rakhine State.
“You reporters might have known this news. I’ll tell you this news if not. The Union Government is launching a military operation soon in big scale to fight against this menace. And then in all these conflict areas in remote and far flung areas, fight against terrorism will be done in the form of People’s Militias. All of them are being planned,” San Shwe Kyaw said on August 15.
Public demonstrations were staged simultaneously in 15 townships in Rakhine State on August 13, demanding the establishment of People’s Militias in Rakhine State.
San Shwe Kyaw said, “The people askedthe government to establish armed groups in the form of People’s Militias. And the government is planning to provide military training to local people soon and they will be armed in the form of People’s Militias with the concept of military training for all. We are very much pleased with this plan.”
Moreover, Radio Free Asia (RFA) Burmese Service citing Shwezedi Abbot Ashin Ariya Wuntha said that Union Border Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Ye Aung said at a meeting with 11 senior abbots in Sittway in his tour to Rakhine State along with three other union ministers that the Tatmadaw (Defence Services) would use helicopters and armoured vehicles in their military operation in Maungdaw area.
Similarly, many ethnic Rakhine political parties and people demanded People’s Militias in their areas after police border guard outposts were attacked on October 9, 2016.
Recently the Tatmadaw C-in-C met Rakhine based Rakhine National Party (RNP) and discussed security affairs in the State and special operation forces and army divisions were sent to Maungdaw.