A statement by the Arakan Army has criticized the Burmese government for lying about the rebel group’s involvement with terrorists.On Tuesday, the Arakan Army reiterated they are freedom fighters for the cause of Buddhist Rakhines and have no ties with any terrorist group. The AA however did not mention ARSA by name. However most observers believe the AA is referring to the Rohingya outfit ARSA. A statement by the President’s Office directly alleged that AA had allied with ARSA. While the AA enjoys considerable support among Buddhist Rakhines, there is much hostility between Rohingyas and Rakhines at present. Any cooperation between AA and a Rohingya group will greatly dampen its popularity among the local Rakhine population.The Burmese regime has been accused of using the policy of divide and rule in Arakan state. Before the advent of the Burmese invasion, Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims ruled Arakan in mutual cooperation.While the AA has grown into a formidable resistance movement, ARSA’s popularity has waned and many Rohingyas allege the group is terrorising refugees in Bangladesh and carrying out illicit activities. Till date, there is little evidence that ARSA has modern weaponary needed to fight Tatmadaw led forces, unlike the AA.