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His Excellency Mr.

Htin Kyaw ID: LFG-2017-0037

President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Ministry of the President's Office

Naypyidaw, Burma

Republic of the Union of Myanmar

December 20th, 2017

Re:

The Arrest and the detention of two Reuters journalists and two police officials under the British
Colonial-era Official Secrets Act

A two-state solution for the Rohingya people and Myanmar

A ban on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
from entering the country

President Htin Kyaw,

I am sending you this letter in concern over government officials with the Republic of the Union
of Myanmar detaining two Reuters1 journalists and well as two police officials.2 I am also sending you
this letter in regard as to a two-state solution that I believe needs to be made a reality for the Rohingya
people and the Republic of the Union on Myanmar as well as in regard as to the Republic of the Union of
Myanmar deciding to ban the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in
Myanmar after a mass grave was found by military officials in Rahkine State. With regard as to the
Reuters journalists and the two police officials that were arrested and detained with the Reuters
journalists, I hope that you understand that Reuters is an international news agency that is
headquartered in London of the United Kingdom. Reuters is a division of the Toronto based Canadian
media company known as Thomson Reuters. Typically, their journalists investigate, write, draft and
publish stories based on evidence on different things that are occurring or that have occurred in our
world.

It appears as if both of the journalists were working on stories about government crackdowns
on the Rohingya people in the Rahkine State. Let us first look at the issue that involves the Rohingya
people and then the issue that involves the detained individuals. The Rohingya people are considered to
be some of the most persecuted people in the world according to the United Nations in 2013.3 It
appears as if it has been asserted that the Rohingya people were victimized by government crackdowns
in 1978, the 1990s, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. This persecution against the Rohingya people has been

1
https://www.reuters.com/
2
Mr. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are believed to be the two Reuters journalists that are being detained by
government officials in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
3
https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21654124-myanmars-muslim-minority-have-been-attacked-impunity-
stripped-vote-and-driven
labeled by officials with the United Nations and Human Rights Watch as ethnic cleansing and further,
officials with the human rights envoy of the United Nations to Myanmar reported that "the long history
of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community... could amount to crimes against
humanity.”4 Investigations that officials with the United Nations has conducted appeared to have
findings that showed increased incitement of strong disgust and religious intolerance against the
Rohingya people. It has been asserted that security forces in Myanmar have been the perpetrators of
summary executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and ill and
degrading treatment and punishment and forced labor being committed against the Rohingya people.
Recently, military officials have found a mass grave in Rahkine State and after military officials have
discovered this, your country decided to ban the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights in Myanmar.

I personally believe from a foreign policy perspective that it may be best for the government of
Myanmar to seek in a respectful way, per se at the United Nations, for a two-state solution with regard
to the area, the majority or some of the area, that the Rohingya people live in for the purpose as to
helping ease tensions and to help ease hostility and to help prevent human rights violations from
occurring. Just like with regard as to the Israel and the Palestine two-state solution, I believe that the
same should apply with regard to the Rohingya people and Myanmar. I believe that this move may be
the best way to help tackle asserted atrocities that have been committed against the Rohingya people
and I also believe that this move would also help ease tensions between the Rohingya people and any of
their adversaries. I certainly believe that this move will be one of the best ways to help prevent any
atrocities from occurring and to help ensure that there is peace in our world. I also believe that the
government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar should never ban the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar as an attempt to hide evidence of a mass grave
in Rahkine State or for any other reason.

With regard and pertaining to the detained Reuters journalists and the arrested police officials,
it appears as if the Ministry of Information for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued a statement
that both of the journalists and the two police officials that have been arrested do face charges under
the British Colonial-era Official Secrets Act. It appears as if this is due because it has been asserted that
the charged individuals “illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media,”
as the Ministry of Information stated in a statement regarding the detentions. In response, the
government of the United States has demanded that the government of Myanmar immediately release
all of the detained individuals. I must respectfully agree with this demand that the United States has
made. Personally, and respectfully, I believe that the arrest of the two Reuters journalists and of the
two police officials is an attack on freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of association
that I believe that all individuals in every country have or should have a right to engage in. The two
journalists with Reuters and the arrested police officials did nothing more than do their job to the best
of their abilities and to help serve and defend the rights of members of the public. I, like the government
United States I am assuming believes, that none of the detained individuals did anything wrong.

In conclusion, I would respectfully request that the government of the Republic of the Union of
Myanmar release both journalists with Reuters and police officials that were detained and charged with
being involved in criminal offenses with respect to this incident. If the criminal charges are not going to

4
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47517#.WjW-Ud-nHIV
be dropped against the two Reuters journalists or against the targeted police officials, I would then ask
you to give everyone that has been detained and criminally charged a pardon. I would also like to
respectfully request that you and your office will create or help to create policies and procedures that
will ensure that all individuals, including journalists, have a right to engage in freedom of speech and
have a right to be able to do their job to the best of their abilities in Myanmar. Further, I would also like
to respectfully request with respect to everything that is going on that involve the Rohingya people, that
you and your office will ensure that a two-state solution occurs in a respectful, peaceful and in a way
that is fair and just. I would also urge the government of Myanmar to allow the Special Rapporteur on
the situation of human rights in Myanmar to be allowed to enter and to move freely around and
throughout Myanmar for the purpose as to being allowed to do her job without government
interference.

I am sure that as the President of the Union of the Republic of Myanmar that you want the best
for your country. I am hoping that everything that is listed in my letter to you will become a reality.
While it may be true that no country in our entire world is perfect, I do hope that you understand that I
believe that whenever reforms are needed in a society that are necessary as to upholding the rights of
the people or improving the quality of life of the people, that those reforms may need to become a
reality. Thank you for your time and your attention to everything that has been brought to your
attention.

Respectfully,

Isaiah X. Smith5

cc:

Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

5
www.isaiahxsmith.com