Myanmar election is going to be a sham. For years, the criminal regime and its backers within the broader Buddhist community have exploited racism and bigotry against non-Buddhists to cement their grip on the country, which remains divided on several fault lines. The extremist Buddhist monks of the fascist organization Ma Ba Tha has been playing a major role in recent years since the release of regime's hound-dog Wirathu to further enflame the already tense nation. They are emboldened by the passage of anti-Muslim religious bills in the parliament, and continue to polarize this country of many races and religions. (Click here to listen to the absurd claims of a Ma Ba Tha monk.)
NLD opposition leader Suu Kyi did not have the guts to speak out against such clear evidences of intolerance in her country. But now she needs the Muslim vote - no matter how small given the fact that most Burmese Muslims are denied the rights to vote - to make her party a winner in the election.
You may recall that Taunggok - located in the southern part of Arakan - played a sinister role in the 2012 pogrom against the Muslims when 10 Muslim travellers were killed there by the racist and bigoted Buddhists. The local Buddhist community has reportedly said they want it to be a “No Muslim City.”
So, when Suu Kyi wanted to campaign there, members of her security detail were briefly stopped from entering the volatile city of Taunggok in Arakan State on Thursday evening after rumors spread that Muslims were coming into the heavily Buddhist area.
Lynn Lynn, who is also a well-known rock singer, was driving with other guards to Arakan ahead of Suu Kyi’s trip there when they were unexpectedly stopped. To get to Sandoway [officially known as Thandwe] – where Suu Kyi began her Arakan campaign today after flying in from Rangoon – drivers normally have to pass through Taunggok.
Lynn Lynn posted on his Facebook page that a local official “suggested” that they go back because local residents believed they were Muslims. They aren’t, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. Lynn Lynn wrote that they would continue anyway and it seems that they have already passed without any trouble.
Suu Kyi is scheduled to visit the area during her Arakan trip, according to Reuters, but is not slated to visit Sittwe, the capital of the state and the epicenter of Rohingya Muslim and Buddhist tensions.
Earlier on Friday, Arakanese nationalist group Rakhine National Network (RNN) released a statement to coincide with Suu Kyi’s arrival in the region, expressing hopes that she will be able to “reflect the social and livelihood woes of Arakanese people” and “focus more on working in their favour”.
The RNN statement acknowledged concerns about Suu Kyi’s security during her visit to the restive region, pledging full responsibility as a host and congratulating her for making such a trip.
The Arakan headquarters of her party, the National League for Democracy, said around 700 personnel have been assigned security for her visit.