Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) threatened a Rohingya man and extorted money from him at gunpoint in southern Maungdaw Township last Friday, a reliable source in Maungdaw reported.

It has been learnt that three BGP personnel including their in-charge deputy lieutenant officer from the BGP Patrol Unit in ‘Kyauk Pandu’ village raided the residence of Mr. Karimullah Khalid Hussein at the village’s hamlet, ‘Zaydi Pyin,’ around 8:00 PM on August 28.

“The deputy station commander dragged Mr. Karimullah out of his house, beat him and ordered him to hand over his Bangala mobile phone to him. When he replied that he didn’t have any Bangala phone, the BGP officer pointed his gun at him and forced to admit that he possessed a phone. When he (Karimullah) was adamant, the BGP fired once in the air and threatened to kill him if he kept refusing.

Therefore, for the fear of the getting killed, he admitted he possessed a Bangala phone. After that, the BGP officer extorted Kyat 300,000 from him and left,” said a villager on the condition of anonymity.

The next morning on August 29, a few military personnel from ‘Kyauk Pandu’ camp inquired the villagers regarding the gun-firing the previous night. Upon that, the villagers replied that the deputy lieutenant of the BGP Patrol Unit fired the gun-shot at the residence of Mr. Karimullah.

The military returned to their battalion unit and summoned the BGP officer. They investigated him about the gun-firing. However, he replied to the military that he was an accidental firing.

“Although the military knew that it was a wanton firing to threaten to kill an innocent Rohingya man for ransom, the military didn’t take action against the cruel BGP officer,” said another local Rohingya.

 Myanmar’s Police has started to increasingly harass the local Rohingyas in Maungdaw Township, according to the local sources.

The police in Maungdaw frequently stop them, search their bodies for reasons, rob their belongings and extort money from them.

“Some police personnel from Maungdaw Police station always wait at a Rakhine residence — at the mouth of the street to ‘Boh Hmuu’ village opposite to ‘the Training Centre for Women Domestic Skill’ in Quarter 4 – for the Rohingya people coming from the rural areas to the downtown of Maungdaw.

The stop them and search their bodies for no reasons. They beat them, rob their money and belongings. It’s happening almost every day,” said an eyewitness in Maungdaw.

It has been learnt that, on August 22, the Maungdaw Police arrested Mr. Abul Hashim, hails from ‘Maadilla’ hamlet of Baggona village tract, from Maungdaw Municipal market on the allegation of inciting the violence in 2012. Later, the police released him having extorted Kyat 50,000 from him.

Similarly, on 25th August, while Mr. Mohamed Johar Abul Kasim, hails from ‘Nwa Ron Taung’ village in northern Maungdaw, was on his way to the downtown of Maungdaw, the police at the check-post of the ‘Myoma Kayintan-Myo Thu Gyi’ bridge stopped him. Upon searching his body, the police found out a gold chain he was brining from home to sell at the downtown.

The police extorted Kyat 20,000 from him saying “you, *Kulars, don’t have the rights to carry around Gold.”

*Kular= a derogatory term used against the people of Indian descends in Myanmar. Currently, it has been notoriously to target the Muslim population of the country.

Myanmar’s police extorted humongous among of money from a local Rohingya man in Buthidaung Township on August 22, a reliable report said.

The police in Buthidaung accused the Rohingya man, Mr. Ayub Khala hails from ‘Parung Chaung’ village, of plotting to attack nearby a Rakhine village and threatened to imprison him. Then, the man was nothing but an innocent man trading cattle and buffaloes locally.

 “U Rafique, a licensed buffaloes-cattle trader, handed around 100 buffaloes over to U Ayub to be looked after. On August 22, while he and his hired men was taking the buffaloes to his village Paraung Chaung across ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village, the sun set and it became dark. Hence, he and his men used to torch lights to go across the village.

The next day, the respective village administrators of ‘Paraung Chaung’ and ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha,’ both are Rakhine extremists, arbitrarily lodged a police complaint accusing that he and his men plotted to attack a ‘Natala’ Rakhine hamlet in and ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village tract.

Therefore, the police major Aung Ba Lay, the Township Police Commander, summoned U Ayub to the police station and beat him. Besides, the police commander threatened to send him to the prison. Using various other threats, the police officer extorted Kyat 1,500,000 from him.

Later, the he gave some shares of money to the above-mentioned village administrators,” said a local in Buthidaung Township.

This is not the first time that U Maung Than Htay, the administrator of Paraung Chaung’ village, and U Maung Chan Thar, the that of ‘Paya Pyin Aung Pha’ village have forged cases to torture innocent Rohingya people and extort money from them. There are countless cases like this.

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Rohingya refugees are languishing in the squalid camps in India without any assistance being offered by the concerned quarters, whereas they also have to fear of many deadly poisonous creatures such as poisonous snakes inhabiting around the camp areas.

Although the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has recognized the Rohingya refugees to be the neediest, it is proving to be ineffective in taking care of the refugees and looking after their basic needs. Consequently, the refugees need to live in the self-made fragile and squalid camps in the Shaheen Bagh areas and other areas of New Dehli.

“The UNHCR not only provides help to other refugees financially but also fulfill their other needs. But we are offered none. They are being resettled to other countries but the same procedure is not applied for us.

I don’t know why such an international agency practices discriminations amongst the refugees who hold the similar vulnerable status. It seems UNHCR, the UN Agency for Refugees, doesn’t like refugees like us,” said a refugee in the camp.

“There is no education for children. They often meet with accidents on the roads as they go to pick up recycling materials such as rag, plastics and irons etc,” he continued.

On the other hand, the deadly poisonous snakes inhabit and roam around and in the dirty camp areas. Last year, five children, three boys and two girls, were killed by the poisonous snakes.

“We killed three poisonous snakes in Madhanpur Kader Camps in this month alone: one in the tent of Salimullah’s tent, another Khurshid Alam’s and one more in Dildar’s.

Last Thursday, a local Indian died due to snake-bites nearby the Madhanpur Kader Camps,” said Khan, a refugee in the Madhanpur Kader Camp.

Therefore, on one hand, the prospects of the better future of the Rohingya refugees are limbo, on another hand, they are facing dangers to their lives due to the unprotected and unsafe camps where they have to live in as a result of the negligence by the responsibilities agencies such as UNHCR.

“This is very shameful for us that People dying by snake bite in this modern age, especially in New Delhi (Capital of India),” said Priyanka Sharma, a Journalism student of Jamia Millia Islamia.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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A group of Rakhine extremists in cooperation with the Myanmar’s authorities have been attempting to confiscate the farmlands belong to the local Rohingyas in Rathedaung Township, according to the local reports.

The lands are owned by the people of ‘Anauk Pyin,’ a village set ablaze and destroyed by the Rakhine Buddhist extremists led by the ex-policeman U Than Kywe during the violence in June 2012. Now, U Than Kywe, hails from ‘Ku Taung’ village, with the help of the authorities, have taken over the lands and cultivated the lands by force.

“We can’t go to the forest for logging. We can’t go for fishing. Worse, the police and the military from their respective bases in the village have been brutally oppressing us.

They stop us from harrowing and cultivating our lands. On the other hand, they threaten us that our lands will be confiscated if we don’t cultivate the lands. They say that it is against the policy of the government,” said a local of Anauk Pyin village.

“Even before attempting to seize our lands, U Than Kywe, the leader of a Rakhine hooligan group dismissed from the police service for his connection with Dacoits (robbers), invaded into the lands and cultivated paddy by force. He said that he did it with the permission of the Rakhine State Government.

Now, we get nothing to do for our survival. Our lands are being confiscated by using military and police force. Kindly help us by any means” he continued.

Anauk Pyin is a Rohingya village in Rathedaung Township is surrounded by Rakhine villages from all sides. The villagers have been blocked and their access to outside has been cut off since June 2012.

Thousands of internally displaced Rohingyas in Sittwe (Akyab) and other townships are facing shortages of food and highly likely to suffer from starvation as the ration supplies have been cut off, according to the reliable sources.

The WFP (World’s Food Programme) that used to provide rations to more than 70,000 internally displaced people (IDP) in Sittwe is said to have cut off ration supplies post ‘Komen’ Cylone hit the region.

When one of the IDP Camps Committee members contacted the WFP office, they responded saying that they had no more rations for them. The food rations in their stores have run out as the President Thein Sein asked the WFP to provide Rice to the ‘Buddhist Rakhines’ affected by the floods.

“WFP used to provide rice to us in every first or second of the month. This month, they didn’t provide anything saying they had no more rice for us. We have to depend on them because our movements and access to livelihoods have been severely restricted by the government. We have been under genocidal blockage since June 2012.

Now, we, more than 70,000 IDP in the concentration camps here, have been hit the worst by the recent cyclone and the floods. Hardly can any NGO or INGOs reach out to us to provide reliefs. Besides, the government has asked even WFP to help only Buddhist Rakhines, not us. It is blatant discrimination amongst the natural disaster victims on the basis of ethnicity and religion,” said Mr. Kabir Ahmed, an internally displaced Rohingya in Manzhi Camp.

“Rakhines have the full citizenship rights; they are helped by everyone; and they can move freely. We have none! We have no right to work for survival. Since the WFP has cut off the rations, we are now facing starvation,” he continued.

Mr. Maason, another internally displaced Rohingya, said “we are afflicted by hunger as we have no rice to cook. I went to Dar Paing and begged rice for my children. But I don’t know what my tomorrow holds for me.”

Since last July, the WFP has cut off rations supplying rations to 27 families in ‘Parein’ village and other 517 people at ‘Yanthay’ village in Mrauk-U Township and 61 people in Kyaukphyu IDP Camps without valid reasons.

The Rohingyas there are suffering from extreme hunger. While some people choose to beg to eat for survival, while some do not beg but stay starved having just meals for one time a day.

Maungdaw, Arakan State Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested three innocent Rohingya women in southern Maungdaw Township last Saturday night.

It has been learnt that the police arrested them on pretext of attempt to murder a Rohingya man in Alay Than Kyaw (Haishshu Rata) on Friday (on August 14) night.

The victims are identified to be Ms. Humaira Rahimullah, 29; Ms. Toyuba Khatun, 67; and Azeem Bibi Hanifa, 17. They all hail from ‘Montula’ hamlet of ‘Alay Than Kyaw village tract.

“A group of Border Guard Police (BGP) led by G-1 Lieut.Col. U Aung Min Htwe raided their homes and have arrested and detained them since then.

Rohingya men in Myanmar do not possess any lethal weapons such as guns at all. Yet, arresting the innocent women on the accusations of possessing weapons and attempt to kill another man is illogical and sheer injustice and arbitrary actions by the authority,” said an elderly Rohingya asking to withhold his identity.

Kyaw Zeya Oo — a Rohingya man works as the right-hand man of the ‘Alay Than Kyaw’ village administrator, Maung Than Naing – was shot at by some unknown people, most probably the Border Guard Police themselves. However, after one hour of getting shot down, he was sent to Maungdaw General Hospital for treatment. Hence, he is still alive.

Locals view that the people that attempted to kill him can be none other than Border Guard Police in the village and Maung Than Naing, a Rakhine extremist. They are said to have been having feuds over the shares of the money they extorted from the local Rohingyas.