UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Myanmar

Calls grow to release ethnic Chin lawmaker in Myanmar

Arakan Army detained MP after accusing him of working with Myanmar's military

Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Calls grow to release ethnic Chin lawmaker in Myanmar

A man holds the ethnic Chin flag during a protest asking for an end to conflict in Chin and Rakhine states in Yangon on July 13. Fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army intensified last December. (Photo: Sai Aung Main/AFP)

Share this article :
Relatives and lawmakers are deeply concerned about the safety of an ethnic Chin lawmaker who has been detained by Rakhine rebels in Myanmar.

Hawi Tin, an upper house MP for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) in Paletwa constituency, was detained by the Arakan Army along with nine others while they were traveling on boats from Paletwa in Chin state to Kyauktaw township in Rakhine state on Nov. 3.

One of five Indian nationals who were working on an infrastructure project in Chin and detained with the lawmaker has reportedly died.

The other Indians were released by the Arakan Army on Nov. 4 but Hawi Tin remains in custody.

Shay Ray Shu Maung, a Catholic and upper house MP for the NLD in Kayah state, said the MP’s detention has raised concerns among lawmakers who are calling for release.

But lawmakers from parliament’s upper and lower houses have yet to raise the issue in parliamentary sessions.

“As he is a lawmaker and representing the people, we are seeking his early release,” Shu Maung told ucanews.

Khin Ei Sint, the detained MP’s wife, said her husband was on his way to attend a regular parliamentary session in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s remote capital city.

“I am worried about my husband’s safety. I want him to be released as soon as possible,” she was quoted as saying by Frontier magazine.

The Arakan Army said it will continue to interrogate Hawi Tin as he is accused of working with Myanmar’s military.

“He secretly recruits and works with ethnic Khumi youth to gather information about the Arakan Army to share with the Tatmadaw,” Arakan Army spokesman Khine Thuka told Myanmar Now, a Yangon-based media group, on Nov. 4.

The group also accused the MP of instigating ethnic and religious hostility among the Khumi and Rakhine tribes.

Myanmar government officials are reportedly negotiating the release of the lawmaker.

The Arakan Army is a largely Buddhist militia fighting for greater autonomy from the national government for a so-called indigenous "ethnic Rakhine" in the state.

The conflict in Rakhine has killed at least 90 civilians and displaced thousands of civilians since hostilities escalated last December.

Rakhine also has a separate conflict that has seen more than 700,000 Muslim ethnic Rohingya flee to neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017 due to military offensives.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution