The deadline for the government-appointed Investigation Commission to submit its report into the conflict in Rakhine State has been delayed from November 16 to March 31, 2013, according to Zarganar, one of the commission members.
Moreover, Haji Nyunt Maung Shein and Haji Tin Maung Than—respectively the president and the secretary of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council Headquarters—have been dismissed from the 27-member commission.
Speaking to reporters on November 5 at the Peace Center on Shweli Road in Rangoon, popular comedian Zarganar said, “We have had to slightly delay our report because violence broke out in Kyaukphyu where earlier there was no conflict.”
However, he said, the Investigation Commission’s findings to date—that being from August to November 16—will be submitted to the president as an interim report. The Investigation Commission was formed on August 17.
Zarganar said he did not know why Nyunt Maung Shein and Tin Maung Than were dismissed from the commission on November 1 by order of the President’s Office.
“The President’s Office informed us that two commission members had been dismissed. We still don’t know why. But we want to know,” said Zarganar.
Speaking to reporters, Dr. Kyaw Yin Hlaing, the secretary of the Investigation Commission, said, “All I know is that something those two members were doing was not in accordance with the principles that the members of the commission must follow.”
As of Tuesday, no announcement had been made on the President’s Office official website neither had state-run newspapers made any comments about the dismissal of the two Muslim community leaders.
The commission requested permission in late October to investigate areas where fresh violence had broken out, but were refused entry due to security concerns.
The commission is planning to open an office in Rakhine State in the near future, said Zarganar.