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Arakan Students Union vows to continue serving interests of Arakan people
The policy of the Arakan Students Union is to protect the interests of Arakanese people, ensure genuine justice and peace, introduce federal democratic education, protect the rights of students, ....
11 Aug 2023
11 August 2023, Sittwe
The Arakan Students Union marked the 11th anniversary of its founding on Friday, vowing to continue efforts to serve the interests of the Arakan people in line with the policies adopted by the Arakan National Union, and using students to join the efforts.
“The union was founded in 2012. Then, there was racial strife between Arakanese and Muslim communities. The union was not yet a legally formed organisation at the time,” said Ko Oo Than Naing, information officer of the Arakan Students Union.
“It strengthened a lot in 2014. We actively participated in protests against national education policy. Since then, we have actively participated in social works, helping internally displaced people and storm victims as well as helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
When internet shutdowns were imposed amid fierce fighting between Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, the union organised protests with placards reading “No bloody government”, “No murder government”, “We have no trust in state government” and “Oppose Fascism.” Three members of the union were jailed for protests.
“Under the NLD government, an internet shutdown was imposed in Arakan State and [Chin State’s] Paletwa Township,” said Ko Oo Than Naing. “The government was silent about the military killing civilians. So, we staged protests outside the state government’s office. We also staged a protest against the Myanmar military’s persecution of civilians. So, our members were charged with sedition and jailed.”
The All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) sent a congratulatory letter to the Arakan Students Union on its 11th anniversary. The ABFSU said it hopes to continue to cooperate with the Arakan Students Union in serving the interests of students and oppressed people.
Politician U Pe Than said: “Once, the Arakan Students Union was very active. They have been silent for a while. I do understand that it is not easy to stage protests and press demands under military rule. Anyway, I want them to take the burden of their historical duty.”
The policy of the Arakan Students Union is to protect the interests of Arakanese people, ensure genuine justice and peace, introduce federal democratic education, protect the rights of students, ensure solidarity among all Arakanese students, and cooperate with allied students unions.