By Takaloo: The All Arakan Student and Youth Congress (AASYC) said on Friday that the Burmese junta’s accusations of plotting domestic terror and sabotage were baseless, that the junta itself was using charges of terrorism as a tool for smashing political dissent in Burma.
The statement came after the junta-run medias MRTV_3 and New Light of Myanmar reported the AASYC is a terrorist organization plotting unrest and sabotage in western Burma’s Arakan State and in the former capital Yangon through internal connections.
The New Light of Myanmar on Thursday reported details of the arrests of five AASYC members, alleging they possessed explosives and satellite phones, as well as the arrest of Burmese-born American Nyi Nyi Aung, aka Kyaw Zaw Lwin.
“The accusations of the Burmese military junta are totally baseless and those arrestees mentioned in the media are not members of our organization,” said the AASYC in its statement.
The statement added that the All Arakan Student and Youth Congress is a political organization that is fighting for democracy in Burma by non-violent means. Its general headquarters is based on the Thai-Burmese border.
Earlier this month, the Burmese authorities arrested more than 16 Arakanese youths in two different places on suspicion of links to the AASYC. They first arrested seven youth in Yangon, and then continued to arrest others from Arakan State in western Burma.
According to their relatives and friends inside Arakan, they were arrested from their residences without evidence of links to any exiled or internal political parties. All of them are currently being detained in undisclosed locations by the authorities.
“Recently there were a series of anti-government activities and mass movements in Arakan State due to increasing military oppression and rights abuses against the local populations,” the AASYC stated.
They further stated that the regime had apparently forced the arrested youths to confess to being members of the AASYC and claim responsibility for recent bombings in Yangon so as to denounce the AASYC as a terrorist organization.
An Arakanese politician said that the Burmese military regime usually suppresses civilians who speak out for their rights with arbitrary arrests on charges of terrorism or other criminal activity.