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Myanmar nationals protest outside Singapore embassy in Washington

Myanmar nationals protest outside Singapore embassy in Washington

Protesters hold banners and signs outside the Singapore Embassy in Washington DC on Jul 15, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/Voice of Arakan)

WASHINGTON DC: A group of Myanmar nationals staged a protest in front of the Singapore Embassy in Washington DC on Monday (Jul 15), in a show of support for the six Myanmar nationals who were recently arrested in Singapore and deported. 

The men had mobilised support for armed violence against the Myanmar government, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said last week. 

According to the ministry, one of the men has "a direct relationship" with a key leader of insurgent group Arakan Army. He actively mobilised support among the local Arakan community and coordinated the Arakan Army's fund-raising efforts in Singapore, said MHA. 

READ: Singapore to deport Myanmar nationals linked to insurgent group Arakan Army

Citing the protest organisers, Burma News International reported that the demonstration was to show dissatisfaction with the actions of the Singapore government.

Photos posted on Twitter account of the Voice of Arakan group showed protesters holding placards with the names of the Myanmar nationals who were deported. Protesters also accused Singapore of "selling Arakanese to the Myanmar army".

A protester holds a placard in front of the Singapore Embassy in Washington DC on Jul 15, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/Voice of Arakan)

Another protest was held in front of the Myanmar embassy in Washington DC, and there are plans to stage a similar demonstration outside the Singapore embassy in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Replying to CNA's query, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it was aware that the protest took place outside Washington Mission on Monday. 

The ministry said that a group from the Arakan American Community delivered a letter to Washington Mission regarding the arrest of the Myanmar nationals in Singapore. 

The letter will be conveyed to the relevant authorities, added MFA. 

According to MHA last week, the deported Myanmar nationals had provided financial support to the Arakan Army, with one making regular monthly contributions.

"Socio-cultural events of the local community were also used to propagate the AA’s (Arakan Army) cause and to rally support for the Rakhine ‘fatherland’," the ministry said.

At a recent event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the AA and its political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA), participants depicted the AA’s armed offensive against the Myanmar Armed Forces’ actions in Rakhine state, and actors were dressed in military uniforms with replica firearms.

Most of those deported reportedly also belong to the Arakanese Association-Singapore (AAS)​​​​​​​, described as "a social welfare organisation that contributes relief aid from Singapore to the Arakanese displaced in the north of Rakhine State".

Source: CNA/ad(gs/hm)


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