Zaw Htay or Hmuu Zaw, A Bigot in the President Office

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By Haikal Mansor

The transition of Thein Sein’s Genocidal government to Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD government leaves behind a bigoted legacy in the President’s Office, the President’s Spokesperson.

Two completely different governments, but the same spokesperson, Zaw Htay.

The Magway born retired major is well-known for his inflammatory nationalism under (used to be Hmuu Zaw) Facebook name, Zaw Htay.

In April 2016, he was reappointed as ‘the spokesperson’ and promoted to ‘Deputy Director-General’ under Aung San Suu Kyi government despite a strong advocate of Thein Sein and Burma Military (Tatmadaw).

A support of Donald Trump for whom he has written an essay – praising him as a “Symbols of Trump as what ordinary politicians didn’t say or think”.

During 2012 Genocidal Campaign, he was one of the main culprits who stirred up fear, violence and hatred through Facebook posts which were later removed. He spread false rumours of “terrorists coming from Bangladesh” and posted a photo of Ma Thida Htwe, an alleged rape victim which is still widely used to justify the genocidal acts and to continue mobilizing anti-Rohingya and anti-Muslim sentiments.

Despite the first elected President of Burma, Sao Shwe Thaik declared, “Muslims of Arakan (Rohingya) certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma… In fact, there is no pure indigenous race in Burma, if they do not belong to indigenous races of Burma, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races of Burma”, in 11 July 2012, Zaw Htay released a statement from the Thein Sein’s Office, “It is impossible for Burma to accept people who are not ethnic to the country and who have entered illegally.” He also rang the bell of genocide by “willing to send (all) Rohingyas to any third country that will accept them.”

Just 6 months after his reappointment as the spokesperson, he is echoing the same dark legacy of former President Thein Sein.

He said, “Bengali terrorists have crossed our western borders. Our troops are pursuing them. The public need not worry. Everything is under control” falsely justifying the ongoing extrajudicial killing, rape, arrest and torture of Rohingya civilians and destructions of Rohingya houses and villages in Muslim-majority Maungdaw Township.

He continues to lie and defend the atrocities his former Employer, the Burmese Military commit against one of the world’s most persecuted people.

On October 28, 2016, he used Facebook to denounce Fiona MacGregor’s special investigative reporting on the alleged rape of dozens of Rohingya women by the Burmese armed forces in Maungdaw. Subsequently the pressure of Ministry of Information forced the Myanmar Times to sack her from the media outlet.

“It’s extremely concerning and unacceptable that representatives of the democratically elected government would use social media and bullying tactics to suppress stories about important issues like gender-based violence in conflict,” said Fiona MacGregor, now-sacked Myanmar Times special investigation editor.

A concerned editor of the Irrawaddy news, Yeni expressed, “We are concerned about media freedom… His views will lead to many questions as he is a top official possessing the title of director in the President’s office.”

The question is How could Aung San Suu Kyi knowingly appoint someone who is a racial-bigot, Islamophobe, hate-monger, adversary of NLD party and media-bias?

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