The Arakan National Party (ANP) on Tuesday tabled an emergency proposal in the lower house of parliament requesting the government reconsider the appointment of three foreigners to the newly formed Arakan Commission.
The motion comes after Aung San Suu Kyi’s government on 24 August formed a nine-member advisory board to investigate and assess the situation in the volatile Arakan region–a board that includes three foreigners:former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan; former Lebanese Minister Ghassan Salame; and former UNAIDS Special Advisor Laetitia van den Assum.
An ANP lower house MP, Aung Kyaw Zan, addressed lawmakers on 30 August, saying the government is letting foreigners interfere with Burma’s domestic affairs by permitting them leadership roles in the Commission. He said such a move could create yet more major problems in Arakan State, where inter-religious violence has plagued many townships over the past four years since deadly mob violence broke out in 2012 between Buddhists and the Muslim Rohingya community.
Aung Kyaw Zan said the controversial Arakan Commission could stir up resentment on top of “various other delicate issues” that have not yet been resolved.
The ANP MP stressed that there is no need for a new Arakan commission, but that the government should instead focus on implementing recommendations by the previous commission formed under the former military-led government.
The proposal is set for debate in the lower house on 1 September.