Press Release in Rakhine State on 24 January 2014

It is learnt that foreign media and some international agencies are issuing Press Releases based on unjustified conclusions drawing from unverified information in relation to the incidents which took place on 13 January 2014 in Ducheertan (Middle) village, Maungtaw Township. Such misinformation and unjustified conclusions amount to exaggeration and distorting the situation eventually leading tomisunderstanding between the two communities in Rakhine State. It is also confirmed that those Press Releases were issued without any attempt to inquire or verify the information with responsible government officials. The truth about the situation of the incident as follows:

During the routine patrol duty in Ducheertan (Middle) village in the vicinity on the night of 13 January 2014, a five-member police patrol team was surrounded and threatened by over one hundred Bengali mob wielding sticks and knives. As the mob advanced with visible threat, the patrol team had to leave the vicinity. During the withdrawal, the leader of

the police patrol team was lost in the mob. Remobilized police and security forces revisited the same vicinity in search of the lost Police Sergeant. They were again threatened by over 500 Bengali mob armed with sticks and knives. In order to deter from being physically attacked, eight warning shots were fired. However, there were no civilian injuries or causalities.

In search of the missing Police Sergeant in the following days, only clues such as blood-stained uniform, belt, and a pair of boot were discovered. The Chief Minister of Rakhine State, local authorities, police and security personnel, religious leaders, Rakhine State Hluttaw (Parliament) Representatives, resident representatives from UNHCR and OCHA together made a tour to the area including Ducheertan Village and met with the villagers.

A planned and pre-determined violent attack on the security personnel in the line of duty is an offence punishable by law. The attackers include those who took part in the arms training courses run by so-called Rohingya Solidarity Organization-RSO. Law enforcement agencies will continue their efforts to expose and bring them to justice within the existing framework of law. The Union Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the local authorities are taking every step to ensure security, rule of law, justice, humanitarian access, and reconciliation in Rakhine State. At this critical juncture of political, socio-economic and administrative reform process in Myanmar, will only unbiased, constructive and well-objective activities be helpful to the people of Myanmar.

The international media and international agencies should release only information which is verified with responsible officials of the government. Failing to do so, releasing unverified information would

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nay Pyi Taw

Date: 24 January 2014

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar