Friday, 11 November 2011

Rohingyas celebrate Eid-ul-Azha in northern Arakan and in refugee camp

Teknaf, Bangladesh: The Rohingya Muslim across the northern Arakan State celebrated Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice, yesterday with due religious fervor and solemnity, but not with happiness because of disturbance of concerned authorities, said a local elder who denied to be named.

“The day's program began with offering Eid prayers by Rohingyas at mosques and Eidgahs (open fields) throughout the Arakan State seeking peace and prosperity for the nation.”

In Maungdaw township, Arakan State, Township Administration office collected kyat 2000 per head of sacrificial cow through the block/village administration office and Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) collected two Viss of meat per a cow, said a local ender from Maungdaw. (One Viss= 1.64 Kg)

“In Maungdaw municipal area, the block administration office collected Kyat 2000 per a cow around 1:00pm and later, but in the rural area the village administration office collected more money than in town from devotees per cow.”

“The hides were collected by Township development committee.”

In Buthidaung Township, the Nasaka also collected meat and money from sacrificial animals, said a businessman from Buthidaung Town.   

Many Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh also celebrated Eid-ul-Azha without meat on November 7, according to a refugee leader from the official Nayapara refugee camp.

Rohingyas who are not registered under the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) received meat from an NGO, which generally donate supplies of meat to the camps during the festival every year, but refugees who are registered--- in Nayapara and Kutupalong camps---did not receive any meat from government and NGO, said a refugee leader from Nayapara camp. 

However, some of the cows were slaughtered in official Nayapara camp, which were distributed by their relatives who have been living in abroad. Besides, an NGO named Poor Aid distributed some goats and cows in Nayapara camp. It has 3,209-family and living over 12,000 refugees. 

In Leda (Tal), an unofficial camp which did not receive any support from any quarter receive 60 sacrificial cows from  a NGO, Turkey’s Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), of them two cows were taken away by an ex-local member Mohamed Alam for his home. Two Rohingyas from outside helped the NGO while distributing the sacrificial animals, but, they took away all the hides. It has 2,100-family, and over 12,000 refugees are living. Every family received 1.5 kg of meat, said a refugee from the camp.

In Kutupalong makeshift camp, the Turkish NGO, Turkey’s Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), also distributed another 60 sacrificial cows, but of them two cattle were taken away by a local ex-member Bokter for him. Under his command, 38 cows had been distributed in the camp, but he took away all the hides. Besides, another new local member named Abdul Haque distributed the rest 20 cows to the camp. But, he took away all legs (front parts), bellies and hides. Refugees received 0.5 kg of meat per family. It has 5,660-family and living over 40,000 refugees, said a refugee leader who did not mention his name. 

The refugees of Kutupalong official camp also did not receive any cows from government and NGOs, but some cows had been distributed by their relatives who have been living in foreign countries. It has 1,918-family and living about 12,083 refugees.   

The officer of Nayapara refugee camp told the refugees that Bangladeshi government had not made provisions for the camps and that he didn’t know what meat or other supplies would be available through NGOs.

“We tried to get assistance from NGOs as before, but I don’t know why this time they are not supplying meat to refugees.”

It is a solemn, sacred festival which enables a person to enjoy, in the right spirit of Islam, through Azha, sacrifice and surrender, resignation and renunciation, selflessness and total submission to the Will of God, said a religious leader from Maungdaw.

“Eid-ul-Azha, the largest religion festival of Muslims, brings for the Muslims divine blessing, an occasion not only to enjoy but also to receive Allah's Mercy and reward through sacrifice and benevolence, patience and constancy”.

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