Monday, 20 February 2017

The displaced locals at the village of ‘Kyikanpyin’ will likely be able to return to their original places according to the verbal permission given by the Border Guard Police (BGP) in Maungdaw on Friday (Feb 17) afternoon, sources have reported.

The Myanmar military and the BGP conducted sporadic attacks on ‘Wapeik’ hamlet of the village of ‘Kyikanpyin’ in northern Maungdaw and burnt down the locals’ homes in October 2016, while ‘Middle hamlet’ (of Kyikanpyin) was entirely removed with the order of the BGP Commander ‘Brigadier General Thura San Lwin’ on October 23, 2016, displacing several hundreds of local people in the village.
At around 2:30 PM on February 17, ‘Brigadier General Thura San Lwin’ summoned the displaced people from these two hamlets for a meeting and told them they could return to their original places.
“The BGP Commander ‘Thura San Lwin’ said that they had to burn down homes in the Wapeik hamlet and expel people from the Middle hamlet because the terrorists were hiding in there and we could now return to our original places. According to him, the villagers of Wapeik can rebuild their houses, but the villagers of the middle hamlet can only repair their houses as they were not burnt down but damaged by the Natalas, illegal Rakhine settlers.
Besides, some displaced families of Wapeik whose houses were near to the BGP headquarter won’t be able return to their original lands but will be relocated somewhere else. He also threatened the people attending the meeting that the whole Kyikanpyin will be wiped out from the map if incidents like October 9, 2016 attacks happen again”, said a local, who attended the meeting on the condition of anonymity.
“However, we are still skeptic. We don’t know if we are permanently allowed to return to our original places or it was just an attempt to create news headlines on it and reduce international pressures,” he added.
During the meeting, the BGP Commander also accused three ordinary villagers of Kyikanpyin as people linked with insurgents in the region. Locals have confirmed them to be just simple and innocent people targeted and blacklisted by the BGP because they met with the UN-led Diplomats on November 2 and other UN representatives. They are:
  • Salimullah (s/o) Abdu Gaffar, a shopkeeper from the middle hamlet
  • Shafiur Rahman, a volunteer school teacher from Wapeik
  • Haarsoo, a fishery pond owner from Wapeik
Although the BGP Commander allowed the displaced people of Wapeik to return their home lands, the village administrator of Kyikanpyin, U Zaw Phyo Tun (a Rakhine), stopped the people on the way to the northern part of Wapeik, which is the main section of the village, mentioning that the village section is near to ‘Aung Zay Zayar’ village, an illegal Natala Rakhine settlement.
At around 6:45 PM yesterday (on Feb 17), the house of Hussain (son of) Abdu Karim at the Middle Hamlet was set on fire. When the neighboring Rohingya villagers rushed to the place to extinguish the fire, they saw a group of Natala Rakhine extremists including the one identified as U Tun Kyi (27), s/o U Thein Maung fleeing from the scene on motorcycles. Earlier, at around 6:00 PM, a Rohingya from the Kyikanpyin village also witnessed the group of Rakhine extremists sitting by the road before the house set ablaze later.

The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested six Rohingya figureheads in southern Maungdaw for skipping a meeting held on Sunday (on Feb 19) in relation to National Verification Card also called NVC, it has been reported.

The Rakhine (formerly known as Arakan) State minister, Colonel Htin Lin; and the Maungdaw Township Administrator and his team visited the village of ‘Alay Than Kyaw (locally called Haishshu Rata)’ yesterday afternoon. Then, they summoned the local figureheads and representatives of the village for a meeting related to the NVC at the village administration office at around 2:30 pm.
Some local figureheads attended the meeting, while the most skipped it, according to a local source. The Rakhine state minister ordered the villagers through the meeting to accept the NVC. A Rohingya cleric as well as other figureheads that attended the meeting questioned and opposed the order.
After the meeting was over, at around 6:00 pm of the day, the Border Guard Police from the Region 7 Camp conducted raids on the residences of the six Rohingya figureheads that had been absent in the meeting and arrested five of them (i.e. six figureheads). Meanwhile, the Border Guards arrested the wife of another figurehead as he was not present in his house at the time of the raids. They detained her in the police camp until her husband came and handed himself over to the BGP to release her.
Three of them released later having forced them to agree to accept the NVCs.
They are:
1) Lalu (30), Jamil
2) Nabi Uddin (50)
3) Fayazu (70), Nurul Jamal
Meanwhile, three others have still been detained in the BGP. They are:
1) Dr. Rashid (75)
2) Sayedullah (52), Moghul (he has been detained since he surrendered himself to release his wife on February 19 evening.)
3) Sayedullah (70), Ali Akhbar
The Rohingya people as a whole categorically reject the NVC as it is meant to issue to the foreigners recently arrived in Myanmar and valid for only two years. Therefore, accepting these cards will automatically deprive the Rohingya people of their indigenous status with the identity ‘Rohingya,’ disqualify their citizenship rights by birth.
Additional Report: The Myanmar government has severely restricted the movement of Rohingya people in Maungdaw for refusing to accept the NVC. The BGP is not allowing the people to go past the checkposts across Maungdaw without NVCs in their possessions.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

Monday, 30 January 2017

Joint Statement on the assassination of U Ko Ni.

Date: 29 January 2017

We, the following signatories, strongly condemn the tragic assassination of U Ko Ni, an expert in constitutional law and a legal advisor for Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), outside Yangon airport today (29th Jan 2017). U Ko Ni was assassinated upon his arrival from the official visit to
Jakarta, led by Information Minister Pe Myint, to study peaceful and
interfaith life in Indonesia.

U Ko Ni is the only Muslim, holding advisory position to NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, he is the one who has expertise on the critical analysis of successive Myanmar government’s discriminatory laws against Rohingya and Myanmar Muslim minority. Furthermore, U Ko Ni was widely considered in Myanmar as main legal advisor who managed to penetrate the military drafted constitutions which bar Aung San Suu Kyi from being the President of Myanmar to be Aung San Suu Kyi the head of the state as State Counsellor. Therefore, we strongly believe that the assassination of U Ko Ni is a calculated political killing. We also believe this is the threat to the democracy and peaceful co-existence of multi-faith and multi-ethnic community in Myanmar.

We are deeply saddened and shocked. We believe that the loss of such a prominent human rights champion is shocking for all peace loving people across Myanmar in general, for Muslims in particular. We offer our heart-felt condolences to the family of U Ko Ni and his friends. We assure you that we will be mourning with you during these sad days, and will pray for the healing of this deep loss. There can never be any justification for political violence and terrorism.

We consider U Ko Ni as the champion and hero of human rights for ethnic minorities in Myanmar.

We urge the government of Myanmar, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to hold a “state funeral ceremony” for U Ko Ni. We also urge Aung San Suu Kyi to form an independent investigation commission to transparently investigate the bottom of the assassination immediately. All those responsible for this assassination must be investigated and brought into justice as soon as possible.

We also request Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the government of Myanmar to  provide safety and security to all people in Myanmar irrespective of race and religion.

For more information,

Dr. Wakar Uddin (ARU), + 1 8147 774498

MP U Shwe Maung (AiPAD), + 1 3307856603

Dr. Anita Schug (ERC), + 4915750685496

Dr. Hla Kyaw (ERC), +31652358202

Signatories:

Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU)

Arakan Institute for Peace and Development (AiPAD)

Arakan Rohingya Youth Association (ARYA)

Burmese Rohingya Association of North America (BRANA)

The European Rohingya Council (ERC)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Maungdaw — A Myanmar Border Guard Policeman (BGP) robbed and beat a poor Rohingya woman in southern Maungdaw on January 15, a local source has reported.

The policeman robbed Kyat 60,000 and a nose ring worth Kyat 50,000 from the victim woman identified as Shashidah (25), daughter of U Ali Hussein, from the village of ‘Kyaung’Taung (Gora Hali)’ in southern Maungdaw.
It has been learnt that it was about 3:00 PM when got body-searched and robbed by the policeman on her way back home from her parents’ home in the village of ‘Udaung.’
“Ms. Shamshidah and her family is facing financial hardships. So, she went her parents to borrow some money. On her way back home, she encountered with a policeman from the BGP post between Gora Hali and Udaung passing by her on a motorcycle. He stopped her and searched her body.
So, he found Kyat 60,000 in her, which she borrowed from her parents and one nose ring. He robbed them all. When the woman demanded them back, he beat him mercilessly”, said a local Rohingya in the region.
When the village in-charge of ‘Kyaung Taung’ asked the policeman to return the woman her belongings, the policeman posed death threats even to him (the village-charge).
Later, the village in-charge lodged a complaint to the commander of the military infantry unit (nearby the mountain) in the village, some military personnel arrived at the (Kyaung Taung) BGP post and made the policeman return the money to the poor lady. However, the policeman didn’t return her her nose ring refusing that he hadn’t robbed it.
The same policeman beat a Rohingya man identified as Abdullah (son of) Abu Siddique from ‘Kanpoo’ village on the same day.
Although they are the Rohingya people in northern Maungdaw that have been under siege and continual assaults of the Myanmar armed forces for months, the people in southern Maungdaw too are frequently subjected to arbitrary arrests, tortures and loots.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Maungdaw — The Myanmar authorities accompanying Ms. Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar who is on a four-day visit in Arakan, duped her into visiting a wrong village in southern Maungdaw last Saturday (Jan 14), it has been reported.


On Saturday morning, the UN Rapporteur set off to meet the villagers of ‘Koetankauk (Dounsay Fara) in Rathedaung Township as initially scheduled. However, the authorities took her to the village of ‘Thawan Chaung’ in southern Maungdaw bypassing ‘KoeTankauk’ (in northern Rathedaung). 
She came to know she was in a wrong place when she asked the villagers of Thawan Chaung after being in the village. Angered with the accompanying authorities double-crossing her, she left the place and didn’t return to ‘KoeTankauk’ village again. 
On Sunday (Jan 15) morning, she visited the violence-hit northern Maungdaw region which has been sealed off since the Myanmar military began offensives on the Rohingya civilians in the region on October 9, 2016.
Deceived by the Myanmar Authorities once earlier, she asked the authorities to stop accompanying her in northern Maungdaw and instead, she chose to visit a few Rohingya villages in the region on her own accompanied only by her interpreters.
She visited the village of Kyikanpyin (locally known as Hawar Bil) and met up with the villagers especially women. After that, she visited Wapeik (Wabek) village but couldn’t meet anyone as the village had been deserted by the villagers due to brutal operations by the Myanmar armed forces (i.e. the Military and the Border Guard Police).
Post that, she visited a few other Rohingya villages such as KyetYoePyin (Kiyari Ferang), PyaungPaik (Haant Gojja Fara), Ngakura (Nagpura) and Sinthaepyin (Haanti Fara). 
During the visits by the UN Rapporteur especially without any members of Myanmar armed force accompanying her , the victims in the region were able to open up to her how the Myanmar armed forces torched their homes, unlawfully killed hundreds of innocent people, raped more than 200 women, arbitrarily arrested hundreds of civilians and plundered their properties. It has been learnt that Ms. Yanghee Lee got chance to also talk to some victim women who have become pregnant after being raped by the Myanmar forces.
Some locals in Maungdaw have raised their concerns over the possible distortions in interpretations by a female interpreter named Ms. Khet Khet that accompanied the UN Rapporteur during the visits. The interpreter is a Rakhine woman known for being an anti-Muslim racist remarks on the Rohingya during her term with UNHCR as a Community Development Facilitator in Arakan State.
Ms. Lee’s trip to assess the human rights situation in Arakan will end today and overall it could be considered successful one.

Buthidaung — A Rohingya Cleric was tortured to death by the Myanmar military in Buthidaung Township last Sunday (on Jan 15), a reliable source has reported.


The victim cleric is identified as Mv. Badullah (60) from the village of ‘Ngaran Chaung’ in ‘Taung Bazaar’ area in Northern Buthidaung. 
Last Friday (on Jan 13), approximately 30 military personnel from the ‘Battalion 552’ raided the house of Mv. Badullah and arrested him was along with his son Hala Bodiya apparently with the accusation of possessing weapons. 
The cleric was inhumanely tortured for two days leading him to an unfortunate demise on Sunday. 
On Monday (Jan 16) morning, the military took the dead body of the cleric to Taung Bazaar hospital for autopsy. Afterwards, the military summoned the remaining family members of the cleric and some elderly persons from his (the deceased’s) neighborhood and forced them to give statement and sign (on papers) that he was an asthma patient and died because of the disease.
After that, the military handed over the dead body to the family members for funeral and he was buried in the evening. 
Earlier, the military arrested three more villagers of Ngaran Chaung on January 9 on arbitrary allegation of involving in the raids on the three Border Guard Police (BGP) posts in Maungdaw on October 9, 2016. They were publicly tortured after the arrests and taken to the Battalion 552. From there, they were transferred to the Buthidaung Prison in the evening on January 9 without any trial. 
They are:
1) Abu Sufyan
2) and his son Burshah
3) Sultan Ahmed
The Myanmar military have since recently started conducting sporadic raids on Rohingya villages in ‘Taung Bazaar’ area on pretext of searching weapons hidden in the region. The military have ordered the villagers of ‘Ngaran Chaung’ through the village administrator, U Maung Lone, to stay home and also threatened them (the villagers) to be shot dead in case of fleeing from homes (in fear of arrests) during raids.

Maungdaw — Two exhumed mass graves at the village of ‘Dar Gyi Zar’ in Northern Maungdaw have revealed decomposed dead bodies of at least a dozen of people, reliable sources have reported.


The gruesome scenes of the skulls and skeletons found in the mass graves in ‘Dar Gyi Zar’ locally known as ‘Bor Gozi Bil’ (as shown in the pictures below) show the shocking scale of the local Rohingya Muslims massacred by the joint forces of Myanmar’s military and Border Guard Police (BGP) reported between 12th-14th November 2016.
A local in Northern Maungdaw (as his identity can’t be disclosed for security reasons) said “we unearthed the mass graves on January 10 in the hope that we would show them to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Ms. Yanghee Lee, as a proof of how the Myanmar military and BGP have committed massacres of our people. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to visit ‘Bor Gozi Bil’ during her visit that has left us disgruntled.
However, we are still hopeful and want to show the pictures of the mass-graves to the world and Ms. Yanghee Lee through media.”
According to the accounts of the surviving victims in the locality, at least 31 civilians were massacred by the Myanmar armed forces at the Dar Gyi Zar village alone in mid November 2016.
Human Rights groups backed with satellite images, accounts of the survivors in Bangladesh (who fled from Maungdaw to escape from killings) , reliable reports from the ground (in Maungdaw) and other credible sources, firmly claim that the atrocities and crimes being committed against the Rohingya ethnic group in Northern Maungdaw since October 9, 2016, amount to ethnic cleansing or genocide. However, the office of Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Suu Kyi, have always been quick to dismiss the reports and claims of the ethnic cleansing or genocide as Fake, while successfully sealing off the northern Maungdaw region from humanitarians, international media and international investigation teams and keeping the international community in dark.

About Me

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Maung daw, Arakan state, Myanmar (Burma)
I am an independent man who voted to humanitarian aid.