Myanmar

Singapore, July 11, 2019:

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has detained a group of Myanmar nationals for allegedly using Singapore to mobilise support for armed violence against their government.

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Their actions in support of the Arakan Army (AA), an armed group that has conducted violent attacks in Myanmar, are “inimical to Singapore’s security”, MHA said in a statement on Wednesday (July 10). It added that those found involved in activities of security concern will be deported.

The ministry’s statement came following reports in the Myanmar media that six leaders of the Arakan Association (Singapore) had been picked up, and that their computers and mobile phones were seized.

The Arakan Army, founded in April 2009 to fight the Myanmar military for greater autonomy in Rakhine and Chin states, has been designated a terrorist group by the Myanmar government.

MHA said its investigations found the group had organised and mobilised some members of the Myanmar community in Singapore to support the army and its political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA).

The ministry did not say how many were being investigated, but Myanmar news site Irrawaddy reported six individuals were arrested.

The site named them as association chairman Ko Hein Zaw, vice-chair Daw Aye Myat Mon, communication officer Ko Ye Kyaw Htet, and Ko Tin Hlaing Oo, Ko Aung Myat Kyaw and Ko Tun Aye.

MHA said one member of the group has a direct relationship with a key AA leader, and that at the behest of the AA leadership, he actively mobilised support among the Arakan community in Singapore.

He urged them to contribute to a “national fund”, and used community events to propagate the cause and rally support for the Rakhine “fatherland”.

It may be mentioned that the AA, which has some 7,000 members, carried out two attacks on Myanmar police posts earlier this year, seizing large caches of weapons and ammunition.

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