Speaking at the military council’s meeting on December 4, Myanmar junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing offered the armed groups to find solutions for the ongoing crisis through political means.

He made this offer at the time when junta’s forces are being defeated in the battles across the country. At the meeting, he emphasized the military situations in Rakhine and Karenni state, and accused the Arakan Army of creating instability in Rakhine state.

This interview with Khaing Thukha, the spokesperson of AA, is about their response to the offer of junta chief for political dialogue and about war-displaced persons in Rakhine state.

TLT: What is the view of the Arakan Army on the junta chief’s offer to solve the ongoing crisis through political dialogue?

Khaing Thukha: The offer of a terror military council to hold political dialogue is an attempt to seek a political exit from the hardships and crisis they are facing. However, they have insisted that the dialogue will be made under the 2008 Constitution and the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. It is nonsense and impossible. Previous political dialogues of successive military regimes since 1962 did not turn out positive results.

There were no significantly successful political dialogues in history. The military council is not a political organization although they are offering dialogue, and they are also not an elected government. So, they do not represent the government. They are not a legitimate organization for political dialogue. Their organization is just a terror army. Therefore, the offer of military council will never happen.

  TLT: How will AA respond to the recent offer of military council?

AA: The military council is not a legitimate organization that can politically guarantee peace. Nothing will happen if we discuss it with the military council. They are seeking more time to solve their hardships, and will fight against it after they have collected strength. They will arrest and kill people. So, their offer for political dialogue is just for their interest, not for the public. Therefore, their offer is nonsense and will have no result.

TLT: How do you respond to the accusation of the military council that AA is creating instability in Rakhine state?

Khaing Thukha:  The junta chief shamelessly made this accusation. They are waging all-out war with their army, navy and air force in killing people, bombarding towns and villages, robbing public property and destroying property of people. The whole country and international community realized their violent attacks.

Their propaganda media cannot hide these realities. We have systematically recorded the battalions and individuals which committed terror attacks on the public. We will take actions against them.

TLT: What are the situations of civilian casualty, war-displaced persons and the needs of humanitarian assistance?

Khaing Thukha:  We have recorded that 126,434 people from 21,426 families in Rakhine state have fled, with more than 30 death toll and 100 injured due to the artillery attacks, air strikes and heavy weapon shelling of navy. Moreover, the military has arrested 113 Rakhine people. All the figures of displaced persons have not been recorded, and that actual number of IDPs can be higher.

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