Burma’s President Htin Kyaw has appointed a new committee to oversee implementation of the various solutions recommended by the Rakhine Advisory Commission, headed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
One year after beginning its investigation, Annan’s commission last month unveiled a list of “ambitious steps” it suggested would help bring calm and development to restive Arakan State, where Buddhist nationalists and Rohingya Muslims have clashed repeatedly, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The president’s new Committee for the Implementation of Recommendations on Arakan [Rakhine] State is to be composed of 15 members, including one Union Minister and the Arakan State Chief Minister Nyi Pu.
A statement released on Tuesday by the President’s Office said that the Committee would be chaired by Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye, while Nyi Pu will act as deputy or “associate” chairperson.
The permanent secretaries of 13 ministries were appointed as the other members of the Implementation Committee, which will oversee various matters related to Arakan State, including: rule of law; inter-communal relations; security; economic development; and the social sector. It is also tasked with successfully closing down all camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.
The presidential statement declared that the Implementation Committee would also be responsible for enacting counter-terrorism measures and eradicating drugs from the state.
Perhaps most controversially, the committee is also assigned to “take prompt measures” in granting citizenship to those eligible in accordance with the 1982 Citizenship Law.
A majority of the up to one million members of the Rohingya Muslim community in Arakan State do not qualify as Burmese citizens under this act.
Reports on the progress of the implementation measures of the committee will be rolled out every four months, the President’s Office said.
An advisory team, consisting of both Burmese and international experts, will also be appointed, said yesterday’s statement.