ALP to Open Liaison Office in Kyauktaw
28 July 2012: The Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) is to set up its first liaison office next month in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw, about 33 miles away from Paletwa town of Chin State.
Khaing Aung Soe, member of ALP’s information department, said the plan to open their liaison offices has been delayed due to communal riots in Rakhine State but it will be opened in Kyauktaw town in August, according to the website.
In April this year, the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and Burma’s government signed a preliminary ceasefire agreement on five main points, which include an opening of offices in Paletwa, Chin State and Kyauktaw, Rakhine State.
ALP also made an indication of its plans to set up offices for communication and economic development in Paletwa, Sittwe and other bigger towns in Rakhine State after completion of Kyauktaw branch.
However, Chin community and political leaders as well as Paletwa locals have expressed their strong disapproval of ALP’s plans to establish an office in the Chin territory.
A Khumi community leader from Paletwa Township, Chin State, told Chinland Guardian: “We will not accept their [ALP] presence in our area. If ALP would really like to help their people, there are many more suffering in Rakhine State. They don’t need to come to Paletwa.”
“The fact that ALP includes Paletwa town in Rakhine State in its recent news is simply an invasion. I am not sure if it is mentioned intentionally or accidentally. But it is completely wrong,” added the Khumi Chin leader.
According to an estimate in 2003, there were around 70,000 Chins living in Rakhine State, with Ann township having about 44 percent and Myepone 20 percent.
Originally formed in 1968, the Arakan Liberation Army (ALP), with the Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) as its armed wing having between 60-100 troops, was a founding member of the Arakan National Council (ANC), according to the Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies.
Reporting by Peter Lu with Thawng Zel Thang