The agreement between the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and the Rakhine state government to set up an ALP office in Paletwa Town of southern Chin state is being opposed by Local Khumi people and Chin political party leaders.
“We can accept it if they were a Chin political party. It is not acceptable for us to allow them to set up their office in Paletwa. It is not their territory. The authorities should have consulted the Chin state government before making a decision on this issue,” said a government employee in Paletwa.
ALP and Rakhine state government delegations made an agreement to set up a liaison office for the ALP in Paletwa Town of Chin state and Kyuatdaw Town of Rakhine state in the first week of April.
“The central authorities ought to have consulted local people about this issue. We are not Arakanese. We cannot accept any other national armed group in our area. The Burmese government should have consulted local Khumi people before signing an agreement,” said a village administrator from Paletwa.
Chin people abroad have been pushing the Chin National Front (CNF), which signed a ceasefire agreement with the Chin state government recently to put on their agenda the next step for peace talks and demand revocation of the ALP’s liaison office issue.
The CNF has been urged to persuade the government to roll back the agreement if they do not drop the agreement for a liaison office of the ALP in Paletwa.
“Mr. Hla Maung Tin, Chief Minister of Rakhine state visited Paletwa without consulting the Chin state government. So doubts have arisen. I am expressing our party’s stand and will discuss this issue in the party executive committee meeting. There is something wrong between Chin and Rakhine people because the central government allowed the ALP to set up a liaison office in Chin state,” said Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, General Secretary of the Chin National Party (CNP).
“Secondly, I am worried that there will be clashes between Chin and Rakhine people on this issue because it is very sensitive. This problem will not be solved by democratic means and a federal system but will lead to racial problems,” said Salai Thawng.
Dr. No Than Kap, Chairman of the Chin Progressive Party (CPP) and Chin Affairs Minister of Sagaing division, Burma also told Khonumthung that if ALP’s liaison office is set up in Paletwa, we will not accept it. They (Rakhine) always insisted that Paletwa is included in Rakhine state. The CCP will discuss this issue with the Rakhine state government and Rakhine National Development party leaders.
A new Burmese army camp in Sittwe Town of Rakhine state battalion was set up in Paletwa Township, while an agreement for a Chin National Army camp to be set up in Paletwa Township was signed between the Chin state government and the Chin National Front in Hakha the capital of Chin state in the first week of January. Khonumthung news