Rohingya MP Shwe Maung has been interrogated and threatened with a defamation lawsuitafter he accused local police of involvement in the burning of Rohingya homes in Du Char Yar Tan village in late January, the latest effort by the Burmese government to silence accusations of wrongdoing in the country’s ongoing sectarian conflict.
Burma’s President Thein Sein wrote to the speaker of the House, Shwe Mann, saying he said that he wanted to interrogate Shwe Maung about an interview given to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) in which he said that he believed police were involved in the burning of 16 Rohingya homes on January 28.
Du Char Yar Tan (also spelt Duchira Dan) is a Rohingya village in southern Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State.
The incident in late January follows an alleged massacre in the village earlier in the month in which at least 40 Rohingya are believed to have been killed. There were also reports of rapes.According to the UN, which condemned the incident and called for an investigation, at least 48 people were killed.
The Arakan Project said many people were stabbed rather than shot, suggesting they were not killed by the security forces who would have used guns, but killed by the mob as the security forces looked on.
Then, on January 28, a fire tore through the village and destroyed between 16 and 22 homes, according to DVB.
In his controversial interview, Shwe Maung said that on January 27 the Rohingya men who were guarding their neighborhood were replaced by policemen. That evening, according to Shwe Maun, at around 8.45pm fire broke out in one house and quickly spread as the police looked on.