Arakan At a Feeble Cease-fire

Monitoring of a brief situation of Political, Economic, Social and Humanitarian Issues in Rakhine State from January to April 2023.
(Photo/Western News)

This special report is a part of Quarterly Report Series, published by the Center for Arakan Studies (CAS), trying to highlight and analyze the news on the local media combination through the first four months of 2023. The CAS has released a monthly report in the previous three months from January through February to March, and these reports can be available


Key Remarks

In political sector, news related to elections, political freedom, SAC-junta activity, armed revolution, and ceasefire situations has been the most dominant on the local media agencies in the past four months from January to April in Rakhine. Election news includes the junta appointed-Union Election Committee (UEC) approval of political parties, removal of non-registered parties’ signboards, anti-election campaigns, junta authority conduction of population census, USDP chief visit into Rakhine, local people’s perception of elections, Chinese ambassador’s discussion with the UEC, ULA’s stance on elections.

In economic sector, migration and agricultural issues occupy as the top two coverage of local media. For Migration, it includes the junta-controlled media statement on arrests of ‘Rohingya’ migrants, propaganda on the return of Rakhine people, Rakhine workers in Malaysia demand for contact with homes, detainment of Thai authority to Rakhine migrants, illegal migrant workers arrested in Thailand while returning to home, and Mro ethnic minority facing livelihood challenges. In Agriculture, local farmers facing high costs and poor harvests, developing special farming zone by the junta, the necessity of more oil crops in the state, the rising price of grains, the demand of farmers to allocate reserve funds and more technological support, the decline of winter crop cultivation are seen.

In social sector, the two most prominent news covered by local media are about healthcare and insufficient basic service provision. At first, it is about mass campaigns and awareness raising of COVID-19, attention to special diseases, call for the removal of FDA-banned food products, warning for high temperatures, complaints about the staff and medicine supply inadequacy, drug-related disease, junta military mobile medical team, Covid vaccination for students. And the second one is related to the scarcity of drinking water, the rising price of cooling devices, the construction of free homes in Sittwe, giving compensation to residents for not working on solar plants, lack of electricity during the examination period, disputes on electricity bills, diseases due to the unclean and unpurified drinking water.

In humanitarian sector, the issues related to the resumption of the humanitarian provision, the forced returns and refugee repatriation issue from Bangladesh, and the state of humanitarian assistance provision in the existing IDP camps in the state are the most prominent ones.

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The CAS is an independent, non-partisan and research-oriented group conducting research and analyzing issues related to Arakan/Rakhine affairs.

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