A photo of three men, including a Myanmar military officer, that has been circulating recently on social media and posted on websites is from an incident that took place in 2012, according to a senior official from the President’s Office.
The Turkish news agency INCA NEWS first published the photo of the three men with the caption ‘Three soldiers from military construction unit who were constructing a border fence,’ and included their names, ranks, and names of their regiments in Turkish. Afterward, this photo was shared by online and social media.
When Eleven Media contacted the President’s Office to ask about the photo, a senior official replied that the incident took place in 2012. Even though the military tried to rescue the men, the official said, they could not rescue them in time.
“This photo was taken during the incident in 2012. It is questionable why they have decided to dig this up and share it now. In this incident, the RSO captured a military officer from the GE unit and two civil servants, who went to construct the border fence. At that time, the military followed them, but it was too late,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
As the three men were kidnapped by the RSO (Rohingya Solidarity Organisation), which is regarded as a terrorist organisation, Myanmar needs cooperation from the neighbouring country to handle this issue, he added.
“This incident is more serious than border security. The RSO is believed to be responsible for this. We need cooperation from the neighbouring country for this border trespassing issue. The existence of armed groups in Bangladesh that can harm Myanmar can harm border security, which is concerned with both countries,” he said.
The three men, including a military officer from the GE (Garrison Engineer) unit, were constructing the border fence at the Myanmar-Bangladesh border area when they were kidnapped. Because the men remain missing, there has been widespread criticism of the government for its failure to take adequate actions regarding this kidnapping case.
“While those with higher ranks are taking advantage of every opportunity that comes to them, it is sad that low-ranking soldiers are being neglected and discarded,” said one comment on social media.
Asked about the actions taken by the military after the kidnapping, the senior official told Eleven Media that the military searched for the men immediately after they were kidnapped. The Border Cooperation Committees from both countries agreed to cooperate in the search for the missing men, but no trace of them has been found yet. After reaching a specified period, they were presumed to be dead.
Although the official said he is sure the incident in the photo did not take place in Myanmar, he added that it is difficult to say in which country it took place. Such incidents can only be solved after receiving full cooperation from both countries, he added.